Prof. Magnus presents a paper on climate change and achieving environmental protection in the Energy and Mining Industries at the 1st AEMI Annual Energy & Mining Conference.

The extraction of non-renewable geological resources such as oil, gas, metals and minerals is a major segment of the global economy. Much of the world’s population lives in countries that are rich in oil, gas and minerals. It is estimated that requirements for steel will grow by 90% between 2010 and 2030, for copper by 60%, and demand for aluminium will more than double. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the world relies heavily on natural resource exploitation, and demand keeps growing. These are because:

  • Mineral extraction plays a dominant role in the economies of 81 countries, which account for a quarter of global GDP, half the world’s population and nearly 70 per cent of those in extreme poverty.
  • The formal mining sector employs more than 3.7 million workers. Up to 100 million people make a living from artisanal mining. In the informal sector, 10-15 million miners are estimated to be engaged in artisanal gold mining in more than 70 countries, creating approximately 1600 tonnes per year of mercury emissions and releases to the environment.
  • If current trends continue, the world will require 180 billion tonnes of material every year to meet demand by 2050, including for green technologies.

However, these benefits come at a cost. Many resource-rich countries, communities and NGOs have often spoken out against extractive projects that brought few, if any, socio-economic benefits for local populations. Questions have been asked why a global development model based on the ever-growing reliance on the extraction of finite natural resources have been adopted globally, at the expense of other more sustainable, carbon-neutral and equitable models of development. Oil, gas and mining companies are now being asked to disclose information on the social, environmental and climate costs associated with their projects.

Climate change, as we all know is the most complex, existential and urgent global issue to date. This is due to its potential impacts on both the environment and humanity. It therefore requires policies and measures to address thoseimpacts. Climate change will also impact the extractives sectors in several ways, generating both threats and opportunities. The impacts of climate change and its mitigation require changes to our ways of life, and our economic development approach into the twenty-first century and beyond.

Download full paper here; Addressing Climate Change and Achieving Environmental Protection in the Energy and Mining Industries

1 thought on “Prof. Magnus presents a paper on climate change and achieving environmental protection in the Energy and Mining Industries at the 1st AEMI Annual Energy & Mining Conference.”

  1. Climate change has profound effects which we don’t understand completely. Rationale commercial decisions often don’t account for climate impacts. Hence the interest in taxing carbon emissions. Having wrestled with emissions trading systems for many years, I now believe a substantial carbon tax is the answer but a fixed percentage of that money should go into a global fund administered by professional investors to invest in carbon mitigation technology and businesses. .

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