A vision for a sustainable battery value chain in 2030: unlocking the full potential to power sustainable development and climate change mitigation
The World Economic Forum (2019) A vision for a sustainable battery value chain in 2030: unlocking the full potential to power sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Insight report.
The drive to produce increasingly reliable and affordable batteries, particularly for EVs, has become synonymous with the zero-carbon transition. According to WEF’s Sustainable Battery Value Chain whitepaper, batteries could enable 30% of the required reductions in carbon emissions in the transport and power sectors, provide first-time access to electricity for 600 million people, and create 10 million safe and sustainable jobs around the world.
The authors conclude that this enormous opportunity can only be achieved sustainably through a systemic approach across social, environmental, and economic dimensions.
One of the pressing challenges highlighted is the need to secure the raw materials required to enable this surge in battery demand. The WEF notes that the raw material demand driven by battery applications will experience unprecedented growth in the lead up to 2030, with the supply of major raw materials for batteries increasing by factors between 4 for cobalt, and 24 for class 1 nickel, to name just two.
To initiate this shift, the report proposes 10 concrete actions to develop a circular battery value chain, accelerate sustainable business and technology development, and improve responsibility in the value chain.
While the WEF report acknowledges the scale of the challenge ahead for an unprecedented battery roll out, it is encouraging. Batteries are described as key to realizing the Paris Agreement goals and support the UN SDGs, ultimately creating a vibrant, responsible, and sustainable market.
The full report can be found here.