A shortage in critical minerals could delay, and make more expensive, transitions to low carbon emission energy and transport systems.

That is according to a report from the International Energy Agency on the supply and demand for minerals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earth elements.

The agency says an electric car needs six times more mineral inputs than its conventional equivalent and an offshore wind turbine plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas plant.

It is warning that demand will rise as countries invest in renewable and electric vehicles.

It projects that if countries take measures to meet their Paris Agreement commitments demand for copper and rare earth elements will rise by 40%, by 60-70% for nickel and cobalt and for lithium by 90%.

The IEA says production of energy transition minerals is highly concentrated in a few countries with the Democratic Republic of Congo producing 70% of the world's cobalt and China 60% of rare earth elements in 2019.

China refines 90% of rare earth elements, 50-70% of lithium and cobalt and 35% of all nickel.

It warns that: "High levels of concentration, compounded by complex supply chains, increase the risks that could arise from physical disruption, trade restrictions or other developments in major producing countries."

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: "Today, the data shows a looming mismatch between the world's strengthened climate ambitions and the availability of critical minerals that are essential to realising those ambitions.

"The challenges are not insurmountable but governments must give clear signals about how they plan to turn their climate pledges into action. By acting now and acting together, they can significantly reduce the risks of price volatility and supply disruptions."