Beyond supply risks – the conflict potential of natural resources

The public debate about resource conflicts is often limited to a cursory analysis of the security of supply. adelphi and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment have made a thorough analysis of more profound risks and conflict potentials linked with natural resources.


A total of eight research reports were developed, presenting different case studies and scenarios until the year 2030. Specifically, the case studies looked at lithium in Bolivia, rare earth elements in China, copper and cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the Nabucco gas pipeline project. Along with the analyses of solutions in terms of their effectiveness in various risk dimensions, the reports are including concrete action and research recommendations. They also provide new perspectives on resources crucial to new energy supply, in the context of developing renewable energy sources and attaining ambitious climate protection goals.

The reports are the result of the two-year research project “Identification and mitigation of international conflict risks linked to natural resources” implemented by adelphi and the Wuppertal Institute on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency.

The reports can be downloaded here (all in GERMAN only):

  1. Conflict risks 
  2. Supply and demand
  3. Case Study: Nabucco Pipeline
  4. Case Study: Congo
  5. Case Study: Bolivia
  6. Case Study: China
  7. Conflict resolution strategies
  8. Recommendations

» Project description