The biggest roadblock to India’s net-zero goal

La Excellence IAS Academy

The biggest roadblock to India’s net-zero goal

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La Excellence IAS Academy | March 5, 2024 | Geography

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Rock and Minerals, Issue: Critical Minerals

Critical minerals:

  • Critical minerals lack standard definition, they are identified based on individual countries’ criteria.
  • India recently identified 30 critical minerals and amended mining laws for private sector participation.
  • Criteria for critical minerals include disruption potential, substitutability and import reliance.
  • States housing critical minerals include Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, etc.

Concerns with critical minerals:

  • Essential for various sectors like construction, transport, fertilizer and defense.
  • Crucial for decarbonization efforts such as solar and wind energy and e-vehicles.
  • Concentrated in few countries like Australia, China, and Chile.
  • China monopolizes the processing capacity of critical minerals.

The way ahead:

  • India joined the US-led Minerals Security Partnership to diversify supply chains.
  • Joint exploration agreements with Australia aim to secure critical mineral access.
  • Lack of domestic availability underscores the need to secure critical mineral supplies.
+1 Adavntage  for mains ( Data point)

·         China processes 35 per cent of the world’s nickel, 50-70 per cent of lithium and cobalt and nearly 90 per cent of rare earths.

·         China has also monopolized the manufacture of finished products made from rare earths like cathodes, anodes, battery cells and permanent magnets.

·         China has 60 per cent of the rare earths, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has 75 per cent of cobalt, Indonesia has 35 per cent of nickel, Chile has 30 per cent of copper reserves.

·         IEA has estimated that in order to meet the Paris Agreement targets, the clean energy technologies will dominate the demand for critical minerals over the next two decades.


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