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Clean energy? The world’s demand for copper could be catastrophic for communities and environments

By Deanna Kemp, Professor and Director, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland
Eleonore Lebre, Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland
John Owen, Professorial Research Fellow, The University of Queensland
Richard K Valenta, Director - WH Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre - The Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland
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The benefits of switching to clean energy are huge. As with any industrial activity, the transition has potential environmental and social impacts.

As we head towards net-zero emissions, record quantities of copper will be required. Copper is critical for solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and battery storage.

Unfortunately, we’re headed for a supply crunch. Market…


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