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Germany, Balancing raw material access amidst decarbonization and digital transformation

Germany is urged to implement a comprehensive set of measures to safeguard its access to crucial raw materials amidst the global transition toward decarbonization and digitalization, according to the government-backed financing institution KfW.

Drawing on a research report by IW Consult and Fraunhofer ISI, the analysis focused on supply risks associated with copper, lithium, and rare earth minerals, highlighting significant dependencies in key manufacturing sectors like automotive. The report emphasizes the need for diversification strategies, recognizing the vulnerability stemming from limited suppliers.

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To enhance resilience, KfW suggests adopting a multifaceted approach, including promoting technological advancements that enable substitution or improve material efficiency. While Germany strives for a sustainable, renewable energy-based economy, the challenge lies in securing essential resources for technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, and electric car batteries, which often rely on a handful of suppliers. The report underscores the importance of mitigating social and environmental risks associated with these resources throughout their lifecycle.

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