Wilson Center – Renewable Energy and Mining in Latin America
Latin America’s mining sector could play a consequential role in addressing the climate crisis, producing minerals such as lithium and copper that are essential to renewable energy technologies such as electric vehicles. At the same time, mining has traditionally had major environmental impacts, including related to the sector’s high energy use. Today, major mining companies in Latin America are pledging to increase production of minerals for green technologies while decreasing emissions and other impacts, including by phasing out coal and diesel and ramping up their use of renewable energy.
How will the region’s mining sector keep up with skyrocketing demand while meeting higher environmental standards? What new technologies will help reduce emissions and other environmental and social impacts from mining in this region? How can Latin American governments expand this strategic industry while meeting public demands regarding environmental sustainability and social justice?