Raw Materials and Climate Change: Concentration of Production Poses Major Risks

by | 30. Apr 2024 - 10:04 | Economy

PwC study examines risks for metals and grains.

Several raw materials needed in the fight against climate change are endangered by it, according to a new PwC study. Specifically, it concerns the metals cobalt, copper, and lithium, which are necessary for batteries and electronic applications, as well as iron, aluminum, and zinc. The production of these resources is limited to just a few countries in which it is highly concentrated regionally. This makes mining and international supply chains vulnerable to possible disruptions caused by climatic influences such as drought and heat stress, as mining heavily depends on a reliable water supply. High temperatures also exacerbate working conditions and reduce productivity.

Raw material producers and consumers should therefore prepare for increasing disruptions, according to PwC. In addition to evaluating potential risks, this could include measures to improve water management in order to better estimate and reduce consumption.

The consultancy firm also examined the three grains, maize, rice, and wheat, which provide almost half of the calories consumed by humanity. Rice, in particular, could be exposed to increased heat stress.

The full study can be found here.

Photo: istock/richcarey

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