The war in Ukraine has underlined the world’s continued dependence on fossil fuels, despite plans to shift to a non-carbon economy. At COP 26 President Biden spoke about historic investments in clean energy, cutting US greenhouse gas emissions by over a gigaton by 2030. Paradoxically, this will create massive demand for metals such as lithium, copper, cobalt, and nickel; the ‘technology metals’ needed for the batteries and the electric motors in EVs and the renewable energy systems necessary to fuel this 21st century industrial revolution. This will create bottlenecks, with the People’s Republic of China cornering much of the world’s supply over the past decade. Is there enough to go around? Can these metals be mined, batteries manufactured and distributed ethically? What should the West do now? As political and public concern about this scenario grows, the Centre for Geopolitics convenes a distinguished panel of experts and practitioners from government and the private sector to discuss this growing problem and its possible solutions.


Kwasi Kwarteng  UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Anna Shpitsberg  US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources

Brian Menell  Chairman and CEO of TechMet

Dr Duncan Wood Vice-President for Strategy and New Initiatives, Wilson Center

Chair: Suzanne Raine – Centre for Geopolitics, Cambridge



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