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Joe Biden has pledged to get the US on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a key target that climate scientists have identified as necessary to stave off catastrophic effects of climate change. On the way there, Biden envisions a 100 percent “clean” power sector by 2035. He also wants half of all new cars sold in 2030 to be electric or hybrid vehicles.
Those ambitions, however, will depend on the US’s ability to get enough solar panels, wind turbines, lithium-ion batteries, and other critical clean energy technologies and raw materials. But supply chains for these technologies, and for the raw materials like lithium and cobalt that underpin them, are largely concentrated overseas. This was already creating challenges for the US before the pandemic screwed up supply chains, and there are even bigger hurdles to overcome now.