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There Won't Be Enough Copper to Meet Climate Goals

  • Demand will double to 50 million tons by 2035, S&P Global says
  • New supply will mostly come from recycling and existing mines
Bound sheets of copper at a mill in Sevojno, Serbia.

Bound sheets of copper at a mill in Sevojno, Serbia.

Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg
Updated on

Don’t let copper’s latest rout fool you: Supply shortages will be so severe and prices so high in coming years that they risk delaying the global shift away from fossil fuels.

That’s the conclusion of a new S&P Global study that warns of “unprecedented and untenable” copper shortfalls in the coming decade as suppliers grapple with a near doubling of demand by 2035. Prices that fell below $7,500 a metric ton this week are set to soar back above their $10,845 peak later this decade, driven by the metal’s key role in the clean-energy and transport industries, S&P Global said.