Joëlle Noailly, Gerard van der Meijden and Steven Poelhekke have been awarded a research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) for the project “Critical Minerals and the Clean Energy Transition”.

A major obstacle to the energy transition often overlooked is the critical reliance of future clean energy systems on a few essential minerals, such as lithium, nickel, copper, cobalt or rare earths elements, vital to the production of batteries, wind turbines, solar cells, and electric motors.  This SNSF research grant amounting to CHF 810’000 will provide funding for a team of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers for four years. The team will (i) study countries’ strategic interactions and how they exercise market power along the global supply chain of clean energy industries, and (ii) investigate policy solutions to mitigate environmental challenges posed by the local environmental footprint of mining activities that create vulnerabilities in the supply of critical minerals.


The research project is a collaboration with the Centre for International Environmental Studies at the Geneva Graduate Institute, where Joelle Noailly holds a joint appointment. Additional partners include Carolyn Fischer (World Bank, VU Amsterdam and Resources for the Future), Julien Daubanes (University of Geneva) and Masako Ikefuji (University of Tsukuba) among others. The research team will also collaborate with policymakers at the World Bank, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.


November 2022