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
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
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