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New UNECE guidebook on critical minerals for sustainable energy transition to support intergenerational action

New UNECE guidebook on critical minerals for sustainable energy transition to support intergenerational action

Guidebook on critical minerals for sustainable energy

Critical minerals are essential for the energy transition as are intergenerational equity in resource management and the engagement of youth. With this in mind "Critical Minerals for the Sustainable Energy Transition: A Guidebook to Support Intergenerational Action” was launched today at the UNECE Resource Management Week 2024. This guidebook serves as a crucial tool to aid policymakers, industry leaders, researchers, and civil society to navigate the complex landscape of mineral resources crucial for the global shift toward renewable energy technologies.

The guidebook was prepared by the Resource Management Young Member Group (RMYMG) of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management.

Bianca Derya Neumann, RMYMG Chair, emphasized the urgency of integrating sustainable practices in the mining and management of critical minerals and stated: "As we accelerate towards a low-carbon future, the responsible extraction and management of critical minerals become paramount. This Guidebook was authored and produced by youth and therefore provides a unique perspective into the value chains of these critical minerals and underscores the importance of intergenerational equity in resource management”.


Key features of the guidebook include:

  • Global Critical Minerals Value Chains: Detailed overview of each stage in the lifecycle of critical minerals, from exploration and mining to recycling, reuse, and the circular economy, highlighting the environmental, social, and economic challenges and opportunities.
  • Intergenerational Equity: The Guidebook stresses the importance of involving young people and future generations in resource management decisions to ensure sustainable and equitable use of natural resources.
  • Adoption of Global Standards: It advocates for widespread adoption of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS), which facilitate harmonized and sustainable resource management practices globally.


The guidebook launch event featured dynamic discussions among experts and youth representatives from RMYMG, who shared insights on the critical role of young professionals in shaping responsible resource management frameworks meant to last more than one generation.

This publication is designed to catalyze action among stakeholders across the globe to adopt more sustainable practices that align with the principles of environmental protection, economic efficiency, and social justice. It calls for enhanced cooperation to develop standards that ensure the responsible sourcing and use of minerals critical for the energy transition.