The shift to clean energy from fossil fuels by Canadian and American governments will succeed or fail depending on whether they can obtain a sufficient supply of critical minerals to make electric-vehicle batteries, the U.S. ambassador to Canada says. Both countries need to build up their mining, refining and battery-making capacity quickly, David Cohen told a business audience Tuesday.
“We need to help each other to make this possible – to drive demand for electric vehicles, to help fund critical-mineral mines, and to move manufacturing, refining and mining back to North America, in a responsible way,” he said in a speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa. “The United States and Canada are investing billions to make all that happen.”
China has an unusually large presence in the critical-minerals sector, Mr. Cohen said, adding that “we’re too reliant on too few, geopolitically unreliable countries.” He reminded the audience of the difficulty of supply chain breakdowns earlier in the pandemic.
Countries including Canada are scrambling to become leaders in all elements of the electric-vehicle market. Ottawa has big ambitions in clean technology and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants Canada to become “a world leader” in critical minerals and batteries that underpin this sector.
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