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Geneva: “Mining in a Changing Climate” Forum: African Development Bank to tackle policy implications

Event location: 
Geneva, Switzerland

The African Development Bank, through its African Natural Resources Centre, will take part in the 15th annual general meeting of the intergovernmental forum on mining, minerals, metals and sustainable development. The meeting will take place from October 7 to 11 2019, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Themed “Mining in a Changing Climate,” the forum is a unique opportunity to engage with governments from over 70 forum member nations, and representatives from the private sector, multilateral organisations, civil society and academia. 

The African Development Bank will host a session titled “Stranded Mineral Assets and the Future of Mining: Evidence and Practice.” The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement imposes a global responsibility to address climate change. This requires a transition to low-carbon economies, even for African countries with high levels of mineral dependence.

Estimates show that certain mineral assets would have to be stranded – or forfeited, to keep global warming below 2°Celsius. In Geneva, the African Development Bank session will address the risks and opportunities presented by mineral asset stranding, policy implications for mineral-dependent countries. The session will also share practical steps taken by mining companies to ensure long-term profitability.

Discussions will focus on the prospects of stranded mineral assets, stemming from systemic changes such as climate change, the clean energy transition and new mining technologies.

Vanessa Ushie, manager of the policy analysis division at the African Natural Resources Centre, said: “With growing climate change and the ensuing low-carbon transition, Africa’s mining sector faces serious risks, and some opportunities. African countries need to understand and respond to this ‘new normal’.”

The prospect of stranded mineral assets, which will become commercially unviable during the low-carbon transition, is a salient issue for Africa, given that minerals account for 70% of exports and nearly 30% of GDP.

The Bank’s session will contribute to the global policy dialogue on the future of mining, and sustainable, mineral-based development. The centre is providing analytical and policy support to the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs) on climate change and low-carbon transitions through a programme on low-carbon development pathways for the natural resources sectors.

The African Natural Resources Centre is a non-lending entity of the African Development Bank. Its mandate is to help the Bank’s Regional Member Countries (RMCs) leverage their natural resources for sustainable development.

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