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Climate policy outlook: Critical mineral prices are about to surge without policy intervention

This week’s most important climate policy stories.

A photo of nickel ore before mining.

Copper nickel ore before mining is not an unlimited resource, which will lead to market shortages and raised prices. Photo: Shutterstock/kochabamba

  • The International Energy Agency released a report predicting that the prices of critical minerals, which are crucial to the energy transition, are likely to soar in the coming years. Prices for cobalt, nickel and graphite fell in 2023 due to increased global supply, but as demand for those and other minerals is likely to outstrip supply. IEA calculated that by 2040, the market size for these minerals will more than double to $770 billion.  
  • A newly released analysis by Wood Mackenzie predicts that a second Trump presidency would jeopardize a projected $1 trillion in low-carbon energy investments, while carbon emissions would increase by around 1 billion tons by 2050. Trump has already gone on record with his pledges to reverse or scale back many current Biden administration climate initiatives. If the U.S. follows the course of its current policies, Wood Mackenzie estimates around $7.7 trillion in investment in the renewable energy sector between 2030 and 2050. 
  • Newly introduced Bill 198 in Ontario calls for stronger responses to climate change impacts, including disasters such as hurricanes and snowstorms. The bill is considered a long shot to pass in the Canadian Parliament due to a conservative majority; but it is meant to establish a precedent for future legislation, as was an earlier bill titled the Affordable Energy Act. Bill 198 calls for active investment in infrastructure and new, more reliable strategies for the food sector struggling in the face of increased heat. 

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