Rare earth elements and other critical minerals play an increasingly important role in the global economy and strategic decision-making because of their role in the transition away from fossil fuels. Throughout history, countries have fought each other and conducted trade wars in order to gain access to critical resources. What are the geopolitical implications of today’s struggle to obtain the components of solar cells, car batteries, and other high-tech products?
Debamanyu Das is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on the political economy of critical minerals used for the green transition