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Shared Risk, Shared Opportunity: Critical Minerals and the Transatlantic Climate Bridge

Join the Wilson Center for a conversation with experts from Latin America, North America, and Europe to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by increasing demand for critical minerals. The panel will highlight how leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are responding to projected demand and the role of transatlantic cooperation in harnessing key opportunities.

Date & Time

Jul. 7, 2022
12:00pm – 1:00pm ET


The global green energy transition hinges on mineral-intensive technologies. In the coming decades, billions of tons of mineral inputs like lithium and cobalt will be required to produce the wind turbines, electric vehicle batteries, and other clean energy technologies that are central to shifting the global economy away from fossil fuel reliance. In turn, global demand for these minerals is expected to soar by at least 400%.

Join us for a conversation with experts from Latin America, North America, and Europe to discuss the opportunities and challenges posed by mineral demand from the clean energy transition. Held as part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge conference, the panel will highlight how leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are responding to this projected demand. The session will also look at the transatlantic dynamics influencing critical minerals and renewable energy deployment, and the role of transatlantic cooperation in harnessing key opportunities.


About the Speakers   

Chris Heron is the Communication and Public Affairs Director at Eurometaux, the European metals association, where he leads communication activities and provides public affairs support across Eurometaux departments. He joined Eurometaux in 2014 after holding positions at Kellen, a global association management consultancy, and at the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers, Eurobat. As part of his work for Eurometaux, he commissioned on the recent report, Metals for Clean Energy: Pathway to solving Europe’s raw materials challenge. Mr. Heron holds a Bachelor’s degree from University College London and a master’s in European Union Studies from Leiden University.

Dr. Mark Myers has been engaged in arctic research, resource management and policy for nearly four decades. He holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in geology and is the principal of Myenergies. He is  currently engaged with the US State Department in overseas capacity building in government resource ministries in the Arctic and Eastern Europe and serves as a Commissioner of the US Arctic Research Commission.  Previously, he served in senior leadership positions including Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska State Geologist and State Director of Oil and Gas.  

Patricia Vásquez is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center and a Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. She brings extensive knowledge about natural resources, particularly in the oil, gas, and lithium sectors in Latin America. Her work focuses on how natural resources interact with governance, rule of law, conflict, and ethnicity. Previously, she was Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and spent three years in East Africa working for the World Bank. Ms. Vásquez is also the author of a book titled “Oil Sparks in the Amazon: A Look at Local Conflicts, Indigenous Populations, and Natural Resources.”

Duncan Wood, PhD, is Vice President for Strategy and New Initiatives and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center. He is an internationally renowned specialist on North American politics, Mexico and U.S.-Mexican ties and has spoken and published extensively on these issues over the course of his 30-year career. He is currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption, has worked closely with the WEF on Energy policy, and is a member of the editorial board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. Mr. Wood holds a degree from Queen’s University, Canada, and is a recipient of the Canadian Governor General’s Visit Award for contributions to the Mexico-Canada relationship.


Chris Heron

Communication and Public Affairs Director at Eurometaux (European metals association) 
image - Patricia I. Vásquez

Patricia I. Vásquez

Global Fellow;
Independent Energy Expert, Former Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace
Duncan Wood

Duncan Wood

Vice President for Strategy & New Initiatives; Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute

Mark Myers

Commissioner, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; former Director, U.S. Geological Survey

Hosted By

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more

Canada Institute

Bound by common geopolitical interests and strong economic and cultural ties, Canada and the United States enjoy the world's most successful bilateral relationship. The Wilson Center's Canada Institute is the only public policy forum in the world dedicated to the full spectrum of Canada-U.S. issues. The Canada Institute is a global leader for policymakers, academics and business leaders to engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the current and future state of the relationship.     Read more

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Read more

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Polar Institute

Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders.  Read more