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Eera event 29 April 2021 - Online

Sustainability as a challenge to face and a goal to reach: interdisciplinary approach to support raw materials and energy supply

EGU General Assembly 2021

The Sustainable Development goals emphasise the importance of equally balancing economic prosperity, environmental protection and social equity. Contemporary, the aim of the Circular Economy is to provide a new material and energy flow model that can achieve Sustainable Development, fundamental for future generations.

The present session will focus on the interdisciplinary approaches to guarantee a sustainable supply of raw materials (RM) and energy.
On the one side, as for RM supply, we have to highlight that the demand for RM and critical raw materials (CRM) is continuously growing, something which is highly connected to the development of climate-benefit technologies as well as high-technology applications. The primary source of RM is still guaranteed via ore deposit exploitation, as the recycling of critical elements is neither feasible nor economically convenient. Therefore, mining activities need to be increasingly improving at a global level, guaranteeing a sustainable mining future, together with a more efficient circular economy approach for processing and waste management. Waste management is often strictly connected to environmental impacts, but the huge volumes of waste can also represent an important source of RM, mainly through their efficient re-processing, with potential positive socio-economic-environmental impacts.
On the other side, as for energy supply, the session will investigate the challenges connected to hydropower. Hydropower is the largest renewable electricity sector with a low carbon footprint, a high cost-benefit efficiency, and variable social acceptance. Changing conditions, like climate, market, environment, social acceptance are unresolved challenges for the hydropower sector. According to the EU policy climate neutrality by 2050 is a major objective. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) established the joint programme “Hydropower” to facilitate research, promote hydropower and enable sustainable electricity production.
This session aims at giving the chance to investigate, in an interdisciplinary way, topics connected to sustainable mining, energy supply and circular economy, such as: “resource efficiency”, “environmental and human health risk”, “climate change adaptation”, “market challenges and social acceptance” and “legislation and political issues”. Analytical/numerical and/or experimental methods, as well as case studies, are equally appreciated.
The session is targeted to scientists, policymakers, and companies: the will of the conveners is to host a lively session concerning the main actions and needs to guarantee raw materials and energy supply, together with a greener and more sustainable society development. 

Practical information


29 Apr 2021


1:30 PM - 3:00 PM


David Finger