SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
by University of Queensland
Researchers have warned that mining threats to biodiversity caused by renewable energy production could surpass those averted by climate change mitigation.
A University of Queensland study found protected areas, key biodiversity areas and the world’s remaining wilderness would be under growing pressure from mining the minerals required for a clean energy transition.
UQ’s Dr. Laura Sonter said renewable energy production was material-intensive—much more so than fossil fuels—and mining these materials would increase as fossil fuels were phased out.
“Our study shows that mining the materials needed for renewable energy such as lithium, cobalt, copper, nickel and aluminum will create further pressure on the biodiversity located in mineral-rich landscapes,” Dr. Sonter said.