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The Matter of a Clean Energy Future

This is an Editorial Article from Science, by Turner, J.M. (2022) Science, Vol 376, Issue 6600 p. 1361 DOI: 10.1126/science.add5094

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A clean energy transition will create jobs, promote energy independence, improve public health, and, ultimately, mitigate climate change. But getting to this new future will require more than just phasing out fossil fuels...

Studies project that producing the materials to enable a clean energy transition will be a massive undertaking...

The potential harms of such a transition are considerable. Large-scale mining affects ecosystems, threatens water supplies...

To meet the global clean energy challenge, government policies supporting public and private sector investments are needed at every stage of extraction and processing...

These policies must be paired with initiatives to ensure that materials are sourced sustainably and transparently...

But if such standards are going to be effective, policymakers, corporations, investors, environmental groups, and consumers must demand that they be integrated into the policies that support new mines, govern mining operations...

Ultimately, innovation will reshuffle the burdens of resource extraction in ways that cannot be fully anticipated...

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