New roadmap from IFC and partners outlines net-zero pathways for mining green tech metals
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched the Net-Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Mining Value Chains, a new solutions guide aimed at decarbonizing 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 200–300 percent to reach global climate targets by 2050.
But emissions from copper and mineral production processes are expected to double by 2050 unless a decarbonization transformation takes place. Decarbonization 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 decarbonization actions the industry can take to cut emissions by 90 percent and reach net-zero emissions goals by 2050.
It offers a range of solutions, including renewable and low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, and digitization. Designed to encourage cross-industry collaboration among mining value chain companies, policymakers, and sustainable finance investors, the roadmap identifies ways to realize 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 mining practices that seek to maximize contributions to jobs and economic growth in developing countries, while minimizing environmental and social development risks."
The Net-Zero Roadmap for Copper and Nickel Mining 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.