A senior White House official emphasized the necessity of encouraging mining projects in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to secure a reliable and sustainable global supply of critical minerals essential for combating climate change.

Amos Hochstein, White House senior adviser for energy and investment, stressed the significance of these mineral-rich nations in meeting the soaring global demand for clean energy components and infrastructure to support advancements like artificial intelligence, offering an alternative to China’s dominance.

Hochstein highlighted the need for initiatives similar to President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which provides substantial subsidies to producers of minerals like lithium and copper crucial for batteries and solar panels.

He emphasized the importance of extending such support to projects in countries with abundant resources but facing challenges like poor labor and environmental standards and political instability, including DRC and Zambia.

To address the reluctance of Western corporations to invest in these regions due to perceived risks, Hochstein called for collaboration among the United States, G7 nations, Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and global financial institutions.

He proposed leveraging agencies like the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, along with entities like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to unlock capital for responsible mining ventures.

Furthermore, Hochstein stressed the need for these collaborations to incentivize host countries to enhance their communities’ well-being and quality of life.

By taking on more initial risks in a responsible manner, governments can stimulate private sector involvement and foster a diversified, sustainable, and equitable energy transition.

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