Conflict Potential

Adelphi and the Wuppertal Institute illuminate risks and security covers of important raw materials. High-tech products often determine our lives. The necessary raw materials are however not obvious and available for the desired conditions. Rather the supply with a series of risks associated, which can affect also the achievement of ambitious climate protection and sustainability goals. Adelphi and the Wuppertal risks and potentials of conflict have worked up now comprehensively Institute relating to important raw materials.

In the face of highly cross-linked resource flows, as well as changing social, political and economic framework conditions in producer, transit and consumer countries it is not enough, if the policy in ensuring security of supply is only a national focus. Political stability in the production countries are just as important as the consideration of social and environmental standards in the removal of raw materials. Missing cross-cutting approaches existing national and international approaches to reduce of risk are so far only conditionally suitable to meet these challenges. Deficits exist especially with views of coherent measures which combine crisis prevention and supply of raw materials. The existing instruments mainly aimed to improve the supply and conflict situations for consumers. But hide, that uncertainty and crises in producers and transport countries can have negative effects for the own supply situation”, says Dr. Moira Feil, senior project manager at Adelphi.

As the research shows, decision makers need to take into account with also unintended consequences of their actions. So, related implications for the demand for raw materials and potential conflict situations should be considered in the implementation of the energy concept and switching to renewable energies also. This last but not least is the debate about rare earths that put not only in many high-tech products of daily life, but also as important components Environmental technologies such as catalytic converters, wind turbines, energy-saving lamps and electric motors are. Resource bottlenecks in the development of innovative green technologies addressed barely in the public debate although an insufficient planning security can lead to significant economic losses. Impact assessment improve to counteract such developments, could be a risk radar”are established for certain industry sectors and/or specific technologies. Data on the availability of raw materials should be supplemented this with information on the socio-political environment and potential conflict that can occur in the context of the promotion and trade of raw materials. Instruments for detecting integrated risk are to promote further and to expand the range of commodity foreign total risk mitigating measures for producers and transit countries. Background reports are the result of the two-year research project resource conflicts effectively avoid: Identification and reduction of international conflict risks associated with access to and use of raw materials”(ROHKON), Adelphi and the Wuppertal have edited Institute jointly commissioned by the Federal Environmental Agency. Divided into a total of eight research reports several case studies and scenarios have been developed up to the year 2030. More specifically, it involves lithium in Bolivia, rare earths in China, copper and cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the Nabucco gas pipeline project.