G7 Aid Planned for Nations that Supply Key Minerals; Aims Include Diversified Supply Chains for Decarbonization

Reuters file photo
Technicians sort solar panels on a production line in Dresden, Germany, May 4, 2022.

The Group of Seven nations plan to create a new framework in October for a fund to expand and diversify supply chains in the decarbonization sector, such as for solar panels, according to sources.

The Japanese government plans to contribute $5 million (about ¥750 million) to the envisaged fund to be created at the World Bank, they said.

The G7 countries plan to provide financial and technological assistance to emerging and developing countries that mine key minerals needed for solar panels and other products.

In addition to mining, the fund will help such emerging and developing countries to engage in the processing and refining of minerals and the manufacture of products made with minerals.

The framework aims to reduce dependence on specific countries, in light of China’s growing presence in renewable energy fields.

The new framework is the partnership for the Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE). Australia, South Korea and other countries are also expected to join the framework.

The announcement of the framework will be made on Oct. 11 in Morocco, where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will hold their annual meetings beginning Oct. 9, the sources said.

Under this framework, the countries to be supported on an experimental basis will be selected by the end of this year. Information on the details of the support and the possibility of manufacturing the products will be shared among the relevant countries.

Key minerals are used in solar panels and batteries for electric vehicles.

Areas for mining minerals, described as “upstream,” are relatively scattered around the world.

However, China has a large share of the “midstream” stage — the refining and processing of materials — and the “downstream” stage, where final products such as solar panels are manufactured.

When the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting was held in Niigata in May, it was agreed to establish RISE.