kalantzakos1_STRAFP via Getty Images_rare earth minerasl STR/AFP via Getty Images

Critical Minerals and the New Geopolitics

The tension between the geographic concentration of vital metallic elements and the increasing scramble to secure them will further unsettle geopolitics in the twenty-first century. Rich-country governments must now follow China's lead and build new avenues of trust and cooperation with developing countries

ABU DHABI – The climate crisis and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – with its breakthrough technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G networks – are setting the world on a geopolitical collision course. Both the drive to decarbonize and the battle for global technological supremacy depend on critical minerals like rare earths, lithium, and cobalt – all of which are highly concentrated in a few locations, including China.