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Introduction to Metals Challenge

Course video 11 of 50

In week 2, the metals challenge is outlined. Metals are indispensable for society, but they are also associated with environmental impacts, especially related to climate change. The challenge is defined as how can we provide society with sufficient metals, now and in the future, without compromising environmental quality? An important part of the challenge is caused by the rapidly rising demand for metals. Over the 20th century demand has risen steeply, and this is expected to continue over the next decades. In this week, we will teach the issues around metal supply, scarcity and criticality, and environmental impacts to sketch the magnitude of the metals challenge. We also will meet the apparent contradiction between some of the SDGs: we need metals to develop societies and build up the infrastructure, on the other hand, we also need to reduce environmental impacts that will only increase if we don’t do anything about it.

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