13.07.2022 Virtual event on “Carbon emissions reduction in mining supply chains: Approaches and Best Practices”
To reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, countries all over the world need to reduce greenhouse emissions. Currently, the mining sector is among the largest emitters with a reduction potential along the supply chain by for example using renewable energy in mining and processing. On July 13th, 2022, a virtual event took place discussing approaches and best practices to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions in the mining sector.
The event formed part of a series that is conducted by GIZ’s Sector Programme Extractives and Development (External link) in cooperation with the Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development (External link), the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters (External link) (CCCMC), supported by the Responsible Cobalt Initiative (RCI). As Mr. LIU Zhonghui (Vice Chairman of CCCMC) highlighted in his welcoming speech, the event series establishes a platform for dialogue and mutual understanding between stakeholders in Europe, China and mining countries to achieve more responsible mineral supply chains.
Perrine Toledano (Head of Mining and Energy at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (External link)) shed light on how to effectively reduce emissions on mine sites. Accordingly, emission hotspots at mine sites occur during hauling and crushing processes. To minimize emissions, she proposed to increase energy efficiency, electrify operational processes and make more use of renewable energy to replace fossil energy.
In his presentation, Mr. SUN Lihui, Director of the Development Department at CCCMC, illustrated the mutual impact of climate change and the mining industry, emphasizing that managing the risks of climate change is crucial not only for business development, but also for the protection of environmental rights, which were explicitly highlighted in the China’s National Human Rights Action Plan released in September 2021.
WANG Shixing, Technical Expert of Carbon Peaking & Neutrality at Aluminum Corporation of China (External link) (Chinalco), reported on the measures the Group has taken at the management level. As one of the leading enterprises in aluminium industry, Chinalco took concrete efforts to reduce its carbon emission and set the goal to reach their carbon emission peak in 2025 and achieve a 40 % reduction by 2035. Both technical plans and action plans for the carbon emission peak and neutralisation were announced in 2021 to ensure the ambitious goals are materialized.
Amongst various actions that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions in the non-ferrous metals industry, capping the overall capacity is critical while increasing the percentage of renewable energy application is another, WANG Huaiguo, Deputy Director of Science and Technology Department of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (External link) said in his presentation. Apart from the innovations of technologies, there is more to be done, such as developing industrial implementation plans and road maps to achieve carbon peaking and neutrality, and promoting dialogue and cooperation between China and other countries to share best practices.
The input of Dr. Peter Schniering, Future Cleantech Architects gGmbH (External link), concentrated on the options of renewables to decarbonize critical steps of the value chain in extractive industries. He basically referred to three things (1) renewable generation and storage onsite (2) electrify hauling trucks and (3) decarbonize shipping. He also raised the question for alternative minerals for products to reduce emissions and to rethink recycling more.
Johannes Lohmeyer, advisor at GIZ, referred to the special risk resource rich developing countries are facing in the course of climate change. On behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the GIZ Sector Programme Extractives and Development engages in projects on carbon emissions reduction in mining. For example, through the support of World Bank’s Climate Smart Mining approach which seeks to minimize the environmental and climate footprint of mining. Further, GIZ conducted a study The Renewable Power of the Mine (External link) which covers approaches and best practices from renewable energy application in mining globally (please find here (External link) the summary in Chinese).
During her closing remarks, Du Shitao from the Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development highlighted the relevance of the event for all stakeholders and encouraged to continue the discussion further.
The importance of reducing emissions along the mineral supply chain became clear from various international perspectives throughout the session. An international audience from various stakeholder groups reflect the high interest in the topic.