Latin America and the Caribbean 2050: Becoming a Global Low-Carbon Metals and Solutions Hub

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Spano, Christian;
Natali, Paolo;
Cannon, Charles;
Greene, Suzanne;
UrzĂșa, Osvaldo;
Unzueta, Adriana
Jul 2021
This report evaluates scope 3 emissions along the copper and iron ore value chains and the opportunities that Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has to become a low carbon metals and solutions hub. The report presents four carbon emission scenarios that represent different sets of decisions for policy-makers and investors. Two scenarios fall short of aligning with Paris targets: (1) the business as usual (BaU) scenario with no further abatement action; and (2) a BaU scenario with the current level of emission reduction potential from players in the value chain (BaU Possible). The other two scenarios deliver the required carbon reductions to be compliant with the Paris Agreement by 2060, but through different strategies: (3) the BaU Paris scenario. where alignment with Paris targets is achieved by keeping BaU volumes and reducing carbon intensity per tonne of metal; and (4) the Decoupled scenario, where carbon intensity reductions are relaxed and compensated by a reduction in primary supply to align the value chain emissions to a Paris trajectory. All scenarios require LACs leaders to consider investments in low-carbon technology in different degrees. The report argues that, given its competitive position in the cost curve for copper and iron ore and an abundance of enabling factors for low carbon strategies, the region could become a key source of low carbon metals and solutions as long as it is proactive in adopting all the necessary measures from public sector and industry perspectives. Finally, the report concludes that myriad opportunities exist for LAC, including new business models, technologies and products, and that these could yield a greater economic and social contribution to the region than the BaU trajectories