The global energy transition: dependence on raw materials affects 66% of small island developing states


Demand for minerals essential to the energy transition, such as lithium, cobalt and copper, could increase nearly fourfold by 2030, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD, reporting that many developing countries have large quantities of these minerals, but do not have the processing capacities necessary to generate added value.

According to UNCTAD, commodity dependence affects 66% of small island developing States, 83% of least developed countries and 85% of landlocked developing countries.

As the climate emergency intensifies, continues the UN Body, the demand for minerals essential to technologies linked to renewable energies such as those contained in solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles (EV) is increasing sharply. .

UNCTAD projections based on data from the International Energy Agency indicate that by 2050, for example, demand for lithium could increase by more than 1,500%, with similar developments for nickel, cobalt and copper.

The explosion in this demand places developing countries rich in minerals essential to the energy transition, facing significant opportunities and challenges which currently affects 95 developing countries, or nearly half of the member countries of the United Nations. In total, 29 of the 32 countries with low levels of human development in 2021 are commodity dependent.

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