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Volume 5 Issue 4, April 2022

Aluminium demand of green power

Decarbonizing electricity production will require a dramatic scaling up of solar photovoltaic capacity. Lennon and colleagues detail what effect this ramp up of solar-powered electricity will have on global aluminium demand and the associated environmental risks.

See Lennon et al.

Image: Mint Images / Mint Images RF / Getty. Cover Design: Valentina Monaco.

Volume 5 Issue 4


  • Debates about the need to avert environmental disasters and to help the most vulnerable are marred by economic and energy security concerns. They shouldn’t be, as the only path to success is a green and equitable one.



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Comment & Opinion

  • Contamination of the environment with plastics is one of the most widespread and long-lasting human influences on our planet. There is an urgent need to comprehensively evaluate the environmental plastics cycle and advance understanding of key transport and fate mechanisms to minimize human exposure to plastics pollution.

    • Kevin V. Thomas
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News & Views

  • The transition to a low-carbon energy system requires a huge range of materials for the technologies needed. Now a study highlights how large the demand for aluminium could be with rapid photovoltaic adoption, which could have a massive carbon footprint if action is not taken in the sector.

    • Timothy Laing
    News & Views
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  • Well-being and resilience are considered related or even synergistic dimensions of sustainable development. This Perspective highlights how trade-offs emerging from narrow interpretations of resilience and well-being could threaten sustainable development outcomes.

    • Tomas Chaigneau
    • Sarah Coulthard
    • Katrina Brown
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  • People living in Bangladesh’s coastal zone face multiple water-related risks. This modelling study finds that rising salinity and waterlogging negate the benefits of rehabilitating embankments for reducing crop loss, with impacts being greatest for the poor. Drainage was found to reduce negative impacts.

    • Emily J. Barbour
    • Mohammed Sarfaraz Gani Adnan
    • Jim W. Hall
  • Carbon inequality mirrors extreme wealth and income inequalities globally, with a high level of consumption-based carbon emissions in rich nations. This study shows that lifting people out of poverty does not impact much emissions globally, though in poorer countries emissions could more than double.

    • Benedikt Bruckner
    • Klaus Hubacek
    • Kuishuang Feng
  • China has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 but policies favouring urbanization could slow down progress. This study tests the hypothesis that urbanization and carbon neutrality are not mutually exclusive and that sustainably managed urbanization could increase carbon sequestration, especially in rural areas.

    • Xiaoxin Zhang
    • Martin Brandt
    • Rasmus Fensholt
  • Although the clean residential heating transition has been proceeding rapidly in China, the climate, air-quality and health impacts as well as the household costs of various heaters are not well known. This study analyses air-quality–health–carbon interdependencies and costs of alternative heating options at the provincial level across northern China.

    • Mi Zhou
    • Hongxun Liu
    • Denise L. Mauzerall
  • Greater photovoltaic deployment is critical to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, but the associated aluminium (Al) demand could pose a substantial global warming threat. Decarbonizing the electricity used for Al production and using less primary Al are the best ways to mitigate emissions.

    • Alison Lennon
    • Marina Lunardi
    • Pablo R. Dias
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