Exploring The Unknome.
Ohio looks a lot like Kansas.
1. Latin America is no stranger to supplying the world with raw materials, but it could be on the verge of a boom. Three forces are pushing the region to become this century’s commodity superpower. The green transition is increasing demand for metals and minerals that Latin America has in large supply, as well as the renewable energy to process them. The region already supplies more than a third of the world’s copper, used in wiring and wind turbines, and half of its silver, a component of solar panels. Its fertile land produces enough grain, animals, coffee and sugar to help feed a growing global population. Geopolitical tensions between the United States and China are causing countries to look fondly upon investing in a relatively neutral region. Read the rest. (Source: economist.com, italics mine)
2. China is responsible for the production of about 90 per cent of the world’s rare earth elements, at least 80 per cent of all the stages of making solar panels and 60 per cent of wind turbines and electric-car batteries. In some of the materials used in batteries and more niche products, China’s market share is close to 100 per cent. China’s cornering of the clean tech supply chain has drawn comparisons to the high level of influence that Saudi Arabia enjoys in the oil market. Just as petrochemical production provides an immovable strategic buffer for the Gulf state, China’s dominance over these clean energy sectors is adding to growing geopolitical competition and has the potential to complicate the world’s fight against global warming. The stakes are incredibly high. The rise and rise of China’s clean tech companies poses a massive competitive threat to western manufacturing industries, including legacy carmakers and energy giants. But in the context of a worsening technological cold war with the west, those capabilities could become a source of leverage for China. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard expounds on this here. (Source: ft.com)
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