We are at a critical juncture. The future of the post-COVID-19 industrialization of key sectors, such as e-mobility, energy, health, technology and national security, are being redefined at breathtaking speed. A suite of materials designated by industrials and governments as ‘critical’ and the high-tech components they form are vital. The emergence of the energy-storage megatrend, enabling electric vehicles and off-grid applications, is both rapid and relentless.
This clean energy revolution is far more than the well-known lithium-ion battery technology. High tech permanent magnets and energy efficient electric motors and sensors take the energy stored in batteries and use it to e-mobility powertrains. Critical materials also present significant opportunities for miniaturizing and strengthening light-weighted components for national security of other high-tech applications.
China dominates rare earth mining, processing and refining industries, as well as the production of rare earths, magnetic alloys and the permanent magnets themselves. China also dominates the global lithium-chemical, cobalt-chemical and graphite-refining industries. Those that dominate these supply chains control this century’s balance of economic and industrial power.
Accelerating the construction of domestic, vertically-integrated electric vehicle, energy storage and critical materials blueprint for this modern, high-tech industry is one of the biggest opportunities Canada and its global partners will face this century.
Canada’s natural resources, technical expertise, industrial capacity and trade relationships are clearly to its advantage. The federal government’s Critical Minerals Task Force is a good foundation to build off of, with a commitment to ensuring that the provinces and territories have the flexibility to design their own policies and programs to meet the nation’s overall objectives. However, it is clear an industry platform is needed, supported by private and federal investments in infrastructure, innovation and clean technologies.
As Canada transitions to a low-carbon future, clean energy will play an integral role in meeting our collective commitment, given that energy production and use – predominantly in the form of transportation — account for over 80 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Clean energy will power our homes, workplaces, vehicles and industries.
It also means new jobs for Canadians across the country and opportunities for growth and leveraging technology and innovation to seize export and trade opportunities for Canada, which will allow us to become a leader in the global clean growth economy and will also help bring down the cost of low-emission technologies.
C2M2A’s pan-Canadian framework is a step in the transition to a clean growth and resilient economy. C2M2A’s network approach will help the country continue to grow our economy and create good jobs as we take ambitious action to rebalance supply chains, with a view to position Canadian manufacturing and high value jobs for success. C2M2A will work to ensure that the pan-Canadian framework opens new opportunities for Canadian businesses to not only maintain but also enhance their competitiveness.