We must cut energy demand now

If we want to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 or even 2℃, we’ll need a monumental shift in how our energy and transport systems work. The International Energy Agency has declared that millions of solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles (EVs) will need to be made and around the world in the next three decades. Thankfully, these technologies are constantly improving – as well as becoming cheaper.

However, a key feature of most eco-friendly tech is that it requires more, and more varied, materials than those used in the tech it’s replacing. Wind turbines need iron and zinc for the corrosion-proof steel and motors needed to capture energy from the wind. And electric vehicles need lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese for their batteries, plus neodymium and other rare earth materials for their motors.

EV chargers in the wild