The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced the launch of its ‘Net-Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Mining Value Chains‘, a new solutions guide aimed at decarbonising the mining of critical minerals.
Copper and nickel are key components of green energy technologies needed to combat climate change, including solar panels, batteries, and wind turbines. According to the roadmap, the world will need to increase copper and nickel production by 200 to 300 per cent to reach global climate targets by 2050. But emissions from copper and mineral production processes are expected to double by 2050 unless a decarbonisation transformation takes place. Decarbonisation of the mineral sector will be important to ensure that end-users and consumers are able to meet their own Scope 3 net-zero targets.
The new roadmap addresses the greenhouse gas emissions from mining and processing operations, outlining tangible decarbonisation actions the industry can take to cut emissions by 90 per cent and reach net-zero emissions goals by 2050. It offers a range of solutions, including renewable and low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, and digitisation. Designed to encourage cross-industry collaboration among mining value chain companies, policymakers, and sustainable finance investors, the roadmap identifies ways to realise potential environmental and social benefits and highlights opportunities to invest in technological innovation.
“A key focus of the roadmap is ensuring that the move to a net-zero mining industry has a positive impact on the environment and on mining stakeholders’ livelihoods, health, well-being, and community resilience,” said Namrata Thapar, senior manager, mining, at IFC. “IFC supports countries and mining companies in implementing responsible and safe practices that seek to maximise contributions to jobs and economic growth in developing countries, while minimising environmental and social development risks.”
The roadmap was prepared by IFC as part of the World Bank Group’s Climate Smart Mining Initiative, and delivered by the Carbon Trust, RMI, The Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines, and Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.