New study calls on mining sector to adapt to climate change
A new study released by the David Suzuki Foundation confirms that the mining sector is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The study found that variability in climate has already had a material adverse impact on certain mining operations over the past 20 years. On the assumption that such variability will increase in the future, the study recommends that mining companies and government take a more pro-active approach to understanding climate change risk and implementing appropriate adaptation strategies today.
"Because of its dependency on the natural environment, the Canadian mining sector is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change," said Jason Prno, a mining researcher who co-authored the report. "We spoke with mining stakeholders from across Canada and found a significant number believe that climate change is already having a negative impact on their operations."
Specifically, the study found that mines across Canada have been adversely effected over the past 20 years by climate events including:
The study calls on the mining industry to understand and communicate climate related risks more effectively, to identify adaptation measures that will deliver benefits regardless of the severity of climate change, and look for solutions that combine adaptation and climate change mitigation measures. With an ever-increasing focus by investors (and securities regulators) on the disclosure and management of climate change risk, forward-thinking mining companies should begin taking action now.
The study also calls on the government to assist the mining sector by doing the following: