2022 Energy Security Workshop

Critical Minerals: Global Supply Chains and Indo-Pacific Geopolitics

On July 28, 2022, NBR and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars co-hosted the eighteenth annual Energy Security Workshop, “Critical Minerals: Global Supply Chains and Indo-Pacific Geopolitics,” an invitation-only hybrid event based out of Washington, D.C.

As countries across the Indo-Pacific set increasingly ambitious targets to electrify their energy systems and achieve net-zero emissions in their energy, power, and transportation sectors, demand will mushroom for critical minerals and rare earth elements essential for this transformation. Increasing demand for these minerals and metals—including copper, nickel, cobalt, lithium, aluminum, graphite, and rare earth minerals like neodymium—presents numerous obstacles for the clean energy industry and policymakers seeking to expand electrification, renewable energy supplies, and new battery technologies, among other products. Only a handful of countries possess the resource base needed to meet exponential demand growth. At the same time, the race to mobilize supplies of these minerals will be profoundly shaped by the new geopolitics of the clean energy revolution.

The race to build secure critical mineral supply chains will be both a strategic and a commercial challenge. This program will assess the risk associated with the growing scarcity of critical minerals, provide a geopolitical overlay of supply and demand trends, consider options for diversifying critical mineral supply chains, and offer practical case studies of how countries can approach these issues. As in past years, the program will bring together policy, industry, and research leaders to discuss priorities, challenges, and opportunities for critical mineral supply chains.