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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Promoting ESG-Driven Critical MineralsDevelopment for the Clean Energy Transition

By Matthew Teh, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, UNFCCC, 2022


Matthew is an employee at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. His policy paper focuses on Promoting ESG-Driven Critical Minerals Development for the Clean Energy Transition.


Executive Summary


Global efforts to mitigate climate change are guided by internationally agreed targets to reduce net zero greenhouse gas emissions, which requires the rapid development and application of clean energy technologies. The manufacture of these technologies is increasing the demand for the minerals used in their production (‘critical minerals’; also known as energy transition minerals). These minerals, however, are currently mined and produced under conditions that lead to poor environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes. As the global clean energy and resources market increases its efforts to strengthen ESG outcomes in the global critical minerals supply chain, Australia has a significant opportunity to leverage its critical minerals endowment and its leadership in the global resources sector.


Existing Australian policies and initiatives, however, overlook the ESG drivers for the global critical minerals diversification. This paper proposes policies to ensure the effective, long-term mainstreaming and uptake of ESG best-practice in the sector. Implementing this policy would ensure Australia’s position amidst the ESG paradigm shift in the global resources industry, and fully realise the immense opportunities of resourcing the global clean energy transition.




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