As the world seeks to move to a low carbon economy in order to reverse climate change and jump-start the global economy, an awareness of the importance of a number of critical metals is rapidly growing. Rare earths are among the most vital elements in the development not only of green technologies such as hybrid cars, wind turbines, solar panels and efficient lighting, but also for defence applications, computers, new TVs, smart phones, etc.
Over the past few years, China's sharp reduction of export quotas for rare earths has brought to light supply problems with other critical materials as well. China's effective monopoly of extraction and processing, along with its ability to offer a complete supply chain, has given rise to widespread international governmental actions, further scientific research, investment for resource diversification, and a series of growing geopolitical tensions.
One consequence has been that there is now considerable investment in finding substitutions and in the development of efficient recycling and reuse techniques to address the resource scarcity and resource nationalism that has begun to emerge in response to China's monopoly.
This examination of the material issues in green technology addresses questions of innovation, supply and demand, as well as the developing geopolitical context; its goal is to help delineate one key obstacle in transitioning to a low carbon future.
These issues attract a wide audience in the economy, mining, international affairs, industry, engineering, and environmental studies programmes and policy think tanks.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Rare earths
- Renewable energy technologies
- Battery technology
- Efficient lighting
- Resource scarcity
- Geopolitical implications of green growth
- Substitution of critical materials
Submission of manuscripts: 30 September, 2012*
Notification to authors: 30 October, 2012
Final versions due: 30 November, 2012
* Because of the vital importance of the theme to the natural environment, public and commercial policy and the many disciplines it touches we would like to urge you to submit as early as possible.