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The critical minerals race to net zero

Time (GMT +01) 09:00 10:30
Image credit:Underground mine and mineral extraction machine | Adobe Stock/Peruphotoart – stock.adobe.com
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


The global demand for critical minerals – those that are essential to the economy and whose supply may be disrupted – is expected to soar in coming years. As countries transition to low-carbon economies and high-tech industries continue to grow, rare earth elements and minerals such as aluminium, copper and cobalt will play a crucial role in the development of electricity networks, electronic vehicles, renewable energy and more.

This event follows the 2023 G20 Summit in India, where the resilience and sustainability of critical minerals supply chains featured in the Leaders’ Declaration, at a time when large economies such as the European Union (EU), the US and Japan are publishing their own critical mineral strategies seeking to diversify supply chains – over which China currently dominates.

This online panel will explore the geopolitical drivers of the race for critical minerals, discussing whether these have spurred investment in the mining sector and the opportunities this creates for resource-rich economies, as well as the resulting (geo)political, environmental and social risks these countries must navigate.

The panel will also delve into the changing approaches to risk management in an increasingly volatile global landscape where multiple threats – geopolitical volatility, economic inequality and climate change – are shaping policy and regulatory responses.

This public, online-only event will bring together aspects of ODI’s existing work on economic development in resource-rich countries, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the reconstruction of Ukraine.

This is the first instalment in ODI’s ‘New geopolitics of transition’ series, which will explore different global and regional transitions that are shaping 21st century risks and opportunities across our world. Events will focus on transitions in energy, geopolitics and technology, considering the impacts of each on specific sectors such as digital infrastructure and global supply chains. It is hosted by ODI's Global Risks and Resilience (GRR) programme.


  • Rebecca Nadin.jpg

    Rebecca Nadin

    Director of Global Risks and Resilience Programme, ODI (Chair)

  • Fiona Blyth

    Fiona Blyth

    British Ambassador to Mongolia (Panellist)

  • Silas Olan'g

    Silas Olan'g

    Africa Energy Transition Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute (Panellist)

  • Olena

    Olena Borodyna

    Senior Transition Risk Analyst, ODI (Panellist)

  • Charlotte (1)

    Charlotte Selvey Miller

    Head of Sustainability, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (Panellist)

  • Marit

    Dr Marit Kitaw

    Interim Director of the African Minerals Development Center (AMDC), the African Union (Panellist)