Green mining needed, as demand for minerals and metals set to rise
THE World Bank has launched a multi-donor fund, the Climate-Smart Mining Facility. The fund is the first-ever to be dedicated to promoting “climate-smart” and sustainable minerals mining.
The Climate-Smart Mining Facility was developed as a result of the World Bank report, The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low-Carbon Future. According to the report, a low-carbon future will rely significantly on minerals, with the demand for minerals such as lithium, graphite, and nickel rising by 985%, 383% and 108% respectively, by 2050. This is based on the assumption that countries are able to keep global warming below a 2°C rise.
Increasing demand for minerals and metals presents an opportunity for resource-rich developing countries, but it could also present a challenge. Climate-smart practices are needed to avoid increasing the negative impacts of mining.
The fund aims to support sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind power, solar power, and batteries. It is focussed on helping mineral-rich developing countries and emerging economies to benefit from the expected demand increase whilst minimising the resulting environmental impact and climate footprint.
The Climate-Smart Mining Facility will work with developing countries and emerging economies to help establish responsible and sustainable practices across the mineral value chain. Working with governments, the fund aims to assist in the development of robust frameworks that “promote climate-smart mining and create an enabling environment for private capital”.
The fund’s work will focus on activities concerning four core themes: climate change mitigation; climate change adaption; reducing material impacts; and creating market opportunities.
Projects may include:
This article is adapted from an earlier online version.
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