The public will need to accept greater mining activity if the world is to meet the challenge of going green.Resource experts say the current supply of various metals and minerals cannot support a global economy producing net zero carbon emissions.
Extraction rates have to be raised, the scientists argue, if only in the short term. Eventually, large-scale recycling should be able to satisfy the demand for key commodities such as lithium.
New mining initiatives are often met with resistance because of the negative impacts they can have on the wider environment and on health. And some activities have drawn particular ire because they’ve become associated with labour abuses.
But Prof Richard Herrington and colleagues believe an urgent conversation needs to get going on where and how the inevitable new extraction is practised.
“The public are not in this space at the moment; I don’t think they understand yet the full implications of the green revolution,” the head of Earth sciences at London’s Natural History Museum told BBC News.
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