Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands


1     Breakout session ‘Responsible Sourcing and mining for the energy transition’


Mining minerals and metals in general is a complex and costly endeavour with many challenges in trying to mitigate the risks to people and the environment. In resource rich developing countries mining is sometimes even more high risk as armed groups are interfering in the extraction process and human rights are  violated. The OECD due diligence guidance supports companies in trying to assess the risks involved in the entire value chain (mining, trade, transport, refining and manufacturing) and trying to mitigate these risks. The global energy transition is redefining market structures of raw materials needed for renewable energy production. This transition will require significant upscaling of mining activities in terms of energy metals and bulk materials production (including copper, neodymium and germanium). This scaling up process should not be at the expense of human rights, local communities and the environment. How can sustainability go hand in hand with the accelerated upscaling of the mining sector?

Corresponding reports/studies:

UNEP (2016) Green energy choices: The benefits, risks and trade-offs of  low-carbon technologies for electricity production. Report of the International Resource Panel. E.G.Hertwich, J. Aloisi de Larderel, A. Arvesen, P. Bayer, J. Bergesen, E. Bouman, T. Gibon, G. Heath, C. Peña, P. Purohit, A. Ramirez, S. Suh.

Breakout session ‘Changing supply chains in the energy transition: implications for mineral rich developing countries and for western demand


The global energy transition is slowly redefining the geopolitics of energy and raw materials. While the past centuries were dominated by the centralized use and extractions of fossil fuels (first coal, oil and then gas), the 21st century will see decentralized renewable energy becoming the primary global energy source. Renewables and other low carbon technologies will be instrumental in our efforts to reach the 2 degrees goals of the Paris Agreement. To build the necessary infrastructure for the energy transition, the coming 35 years will see the global demand for raw materials increase significantly. How will resource rich developing countries cope with this change in the demand? On the other hand, how will the Western demand adjust to this new situation?

Corresponding reports/studies:

World Bank (2017) The role of minerals and metals in supplying a low carbon economy: Implications for resource rich developing countries

Hague Center for Strategic Studies (2017) The geopolitical impact of climate policies: How large oil and gas exporting rentier States weather the impending storm.

3     Breakout Session ‘Successful raw material governance’


New issues regarding the governance of raw materials arise as the international energy transition is inducing shifts in existing market structures. As the global market generally has a slow reaction to sudden demands increases of minerals and metals, market analysis and governance interventions are increasingly becoming important steering tools for the energy transition. Globally, a wide variety of institutional governance structures exist that seek to influence the way in which global raw materials flows are managed. Examples of such institutions include among others the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), United Nations Environment/International Resource Panel (IRP) and many more. While the global institutional governance framework of natural resources is extensive, coordination between these numerous organizations often remains a challenge. As some issues garner insufficient attention, it raises questions on how successful raw material governance can be achieved.  

Corresponding reports/studies:

HCSS (2017). The governance of natural resources (working title). This report has yet to be published

4     Breakout Session ‘Circular economy and the energy transition’


Raw materials, energy minerals in particular, often have geopolitical risks associated with them, as the geographical locations of these materials are unequally distributed. Thus, actors with high dependency are increasingly interested in creating strategies to reduce their vulnerability, one of which is circular economy. According to UNEP’s Decoupling Report (2011), “waste recycling represents one of the most immediate, tangible and low-cost investments in dematerialization available. It saves on capital costs, creates jobs, and forces the middle classes to take greater responsibility for the resources they throw away”. While a circular economy consists of a wider concept than just reusing and recycling raw materials in general, it may have a significant part in coping strategies to combat material dependency.

Corresponding reports/studies:

UNEP (2013) Assessing mineral resources in society. International Resource Panel, Working Group on Global Metal Flows.

Veltkamp, A.C. (2014) Materiaal Schaarste en ECN: Eindrapport van het Ideation Challenge project Re-Supply. ECN

Bastein, T., Rietveld, E. & van Zyl, S. (2014) Materialen in de Nederlandse Economie: een beoordeling van de kwetsbaarheid. TNO


5 Breakout Session ‘Batteries for electricity storage and ecodesign’


Batteries will play a major role in the energy transition as they are necessary to ensure we can store energy to use at a certain place and time. Without good storage facilities the energy generated by wind and solar can only be used on the spot. Same goes for electrical mobility, this is impossible without good storage in the form of batteries. At the same time producing these batteries requires huge amounts of raw materials. We have to ensure the demand is met by responsible sourced material. This means among others responsible extracted, mines where it is safe to mine and the local people and landscape is protected and not violated. Once the batteries are being produced it is essential to produce them in an ecofriendly manner, meaning all materials need to be recycled and reused to the extent possible. This can be propagated with eco-design.

Corresponding reports/studies: