The initiative, which “supports a low-carbon transition where mining is climate-smart and value chains are sustainable and green,” kicked into high gear in May of 2019 with the launch of the so-called “Climate-Smart Mining Facility.” This multi-donor trust fund has the stated goal of “help[ing] resource-rich developing countries benefit from the increasing demand for minerals and metals, while ensuring the mining sector is managed in a way that minimizes the environmental and climate footprint.”
“World Bank said wind, solar and the batteries that store this energy and power electric vehicles will be the biggest low-carbon technologies that will drive global demand for metals in the coming three decades.
The batteries needed to store wind and solar energy, as well as power zero-emissions vehicles, are expected to be the biggest renewable energy driver of minerals and metals demand.
Many of these renewable energy minerals and metals are found in developing countries, which provides enormous economic opportunities for the more than 3 billion of the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth.”
(Read Lasley’s full article here.)
The initiative is timely, and ties into the overall context of the growing realization that the current push towards a lower-carbon future is not possible without mining, as – in the words of Dr. Morgan Bazilian, Dr. Morgan Bazilian, Director of the Payne Institute and Professor of Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines – “[t]he future energy system will be far more mineral and metal-intensive than it is today. Many of these advanced technologies require minerals and metals with particular properties that have few to no current substitutes.”
As Bazilian has pointed out:
“The opportunity for the mining industry is tremendous. An industry that has experienced enormous public pressure and critique, accompanied by offshoring production overseas, can now evolve into one fundamental to supporting a shift to a low-carbon and sustainable energy system based on domestic natural resources.”
The World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining initiative is one facet of approaches taken to sustainably green our future, but, as we recently outlined, it does not end here. In an effort to offset some of the carbon costs of resource development, mining companies have started to incorporate renewable power sources into their operations, and we’ll continue to feature these efforts (as we have done here) in the months to come.