Canada Overtakes China on Lithium Batteries

China has been knocked off the top spot by Canada in BloombergNEF’s global lithium-ion battery supply chain ranking for the first time. The annual ranking rates 30 countries on their potential to build a secure, reliable, and sustainable lithium-ion battery supply chain. China’s performance was marred by a poorer score in the ESG category, as well as a limited growth in infrastructure and innovation, partly driven by tense trade relations with foreign markets, including the EU and US. Much of China’s lithium comes from the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in the country’s northwest, where issues of forced labour have been identified. In 2022, China processed 44% of the world’s chemical lithium and 70% of lithium-ion battery cells. The Investor Alliance for Human Rights (IAHR) and others launched investor guidance last month on how to address Uyghur-linked human rights risks in the green technology supply chain. Canada’s rise from second place to first was the result of consistent growth across lithium-ion battery supply chains and relevant supporting sectors, together with strong ESG credentials. Global investment in clean energy supply chains, including equipment factories and battery metals production, hit a record US$135 billion last year. Recent research by BloombergNEF also found that global low-carbon energy transition investments increased by 17% in 2023, representing US$1.8 trillion. 

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