WASHINGTON, May 1, 2019 /CNW/ - As the World Bank today launches its new 'Climate-Smart Mining' facility, organizations from around the world are urging the financial institution to prioritize recycling, circular economy, public transit, and other non-mining solutions as the primary components of its agenda. Efforts should also be made to bolster responsible sourcing.
"To avert catastrophic climate change we support a just and rapid transition to a renewable energy economy, but promoting business-as-usual mining is not the answer. A truly "Climate-Smart" agenda would prioritize recycling, reuse, substitution and consumption changes before new mining," stated Earthworks' Mining Program Director Payal Sampat.
In a letter sent to the World Bank yesterday, over 50 organizations working with hundreds of mining-affected communities and workers around the world voiced their concerns about the World Bank's expanding investment in mining without accompanying changes in mining practices or consumption patterns.
Added Ugo LaPointe of MiningWatch Canada: "We are alarmed to note that the World Bank has primarily partnered with mining companies in developing and launching its new Climate-Smart Mining initiative, largely putting mining company agendas and interests before much needed efforts to shift demand and increase protections for workers, communities and the environment."
Metals mining is currently one of the world's dirtiest industries, responsible for at least 10% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and over 50% of all toxic solid wastes in many producing countries. Mining is linked to severe human rights abuses, violent conflict and unsafe working conditions in some parts of the world.
According to new research from University of Technology, Sydney's Institute for Sustainable Futures, "Responsible Minerals Sourcing for Renewable Energy," as demand for these scarce minerals skyrockets, the associated environmental and human impacts are likely to rise steeply as well.
Carlos Lozano, Senior Attorney with AIDA in Colombia, adds: "As a public financial institution, the World Bank is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of projects it finances, and should foster improved mining practices and truly renewable energy systems."
See letter sent to the World Bank here: https://earthworks.org/ClimateSmartLetter
For further information: Brendan McLaughlin, Earthworks, +1.206.892.8832; Jamie Kneen, MiningWatch Canada, +1.613.761.2273