Green trend stirs copper and nickel markets as supply tightens – by Rurika Imahashi (Nikkei Asia – November 30, 2020)

TOKYO — Rising environmental awareness and the global shift to eco-friendly cars and energy sources are raising a question in the market for key metals used in such “green” sectors: Will there be enough supply?

In just the past month, the global mood surrounding the tackling of climate change has changed significantly. In late-October, China said it was planning to phase out traditional combustion engine cars and make all new ones sold in 2035 eco-friendly in the form of electric and plug-in hybrid versions.

Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election could bring a huge change to environmental policy in the world’s biggest economy after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. Before the Nov. 3 contest, Biden had pledged a $2 trillion clean energy plan.

Japan and South Korea, meanwhile, have promised to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. In achieving such goals, metals that support “green” technology will be indispensable.

Take copper, for example. The metal, widely used for electric cables, will be indispensable for electric vehicles and renewable energy generators such as solar panels.

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