On the 11th of November 2023, the Global Council for Responsible Transition Minerals was launched on the sidelines of the 2023 Paris Peace Forum by the members of the Transition Minerals Initiative.
With the acceleration of the energy transition towards net-zero, demand for minerals essential to manufacturing of technologies such as windmills, solar panels and electric batteries is projected to increase four-fold in the next twenty years to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement. The scale of this future demand, as well as the strategic nature of these minerals, are leading to exacerbated competition between countries for this limited resource.
Current divisions could hamper achievement of the transition towards net-zero on a global scale. They come at the expense of resolving the host of issues around the supply of transition minerals: responsibility of supply chains, environmental and social impacts of the minerals industry, proliferation of norms and risks of weak implementation, obstacles to financing, lack of political awareness, recycling and management of demand etc.
The Global Council for Responsible Transition Minerals is an independent high-level group of leaders working to further multistakeholder collaboration towards a sustainable supply of transition minerals. Unique in its scope and composition, it brings together distinguished individuals from every continent, representing a variety of perspectives from all sectors of society. It will act as a convener of diverse voices and strive to represent the common interest in a context of intergovernmental tensions and industrial competition.
Its mandate is the following:
Assisted by advisors from the Transition Minerals Initiative, the Global Council for Responsible Transition Minerals will:
- Consider governance environmental, economic and social implications associated with the scale of projected demand for transition minerals, from extraction to end-use, especially in relation to strategic competition, resource scarcity and financial constraints that could undermine the achievement of global net-zero objectives;
- Review the existing global governance framework on transition minerals to spotlight opportunities for alignment among complementary approaches, amplify the most relevant common principles and identify key governance gaps, in view of fostering resilient and responsible supply chains, minimizing negative impacts on communities and ecosystems, promoting economic opportunities for producing countries and addressing market and policy failures that could hinder global access to transition minerals;
- Articulate the range of policy options to balance increasing demand with supply capacities, from promoting technological innovation to increasing resource efficiency, to fostering sustainable consumption models and incentivizing optimization and lifecycle extension of transition minerals, reflecting varying political and economic perspectives;
- Engage in transparent consultation, including stakeholder consultation on policy options and policy integration, with the goal of gaining a wider and deeper understanding from all relevant actors along the supply chains and beyond; and
- Develop regular sets of recommendations, working towards collaborative solutions and building on relevant opportunities to foster political awareness.
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