SEC Lecture: Creating Circularity for Critical Raw Materials

SEC Lecture: Creating Circularity for Critical Raw Materials

18:00 ‐ 19:30

  • Vortragsreihe

with Prof. Christoph Helbig (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) are materials with high supply risks and high vulnerability to supply restrictions. Demand for CRMs is expected to grow drastically over the next decades because they are essential for clean and renewable energy, digitalization, and defense. Therefore, large efforts worldwide in politics and industry are undertaken to secure the increasing demand for CRMs, such as the European Critical Raw Materials Act. Increased production rates bear the risk of additional environmental impacts contributing to the triple planetary crisis: climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. These environmental impacts can be mitigated partially if the demand is fulfilled with anthropogenic resources. However, CRMs have low circularity rates and high loss rates in the economy. The average lifetime of 30 metals in the periodic table is 10 years or even shorter because products, waste management, and recycling systems are not optimized for keeping Critical Raw Materials in the loop. To change this, we need a vision for a circularity and sustainability transition that includes all aspects of the Circular Economy: low-carbon production technologies, resource-light business models, effective regulations supporting circularity, and selective and efficient recycling processes.

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Institute of Social Ecology, SR 3a, Schottenfeldgasse 29, 1070 Wien & Online
Institut für Soziale Ökologie
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Sprache: Englisch
Öffentlich: Ja
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