To Keep Shining, Gold Mining Needs To Cut Carbon Emissions

The World Gold Council in association with Wood Mackenzie, a research firm, has come out with a report on on how and what the gold mining industry can achieve net zero carbon emissions eventually.

The World Gold Council launched its “Gold and climate change: The energy transition” report on 9th December. The report talks about gold mining’s carbon emissions during the mining processes and their climate impact over the next decade.

The report was produced in a collaboration with mining and energy specialists at Wood Mackenzie. The report suggests the opportunities for gold mining to decarbonize its power sources, which might allow the reduction of carbon emissions at a scale to achieve climate targets by using Renewable Energy as its key source.

For achieving the Net-Zero carbon emission, the concerned industry needs to start working in the direction, over the next decade. The report estimates the impacts of reducing gold mining’s power emissions by 2030 to evaluate what would be required to be compatible with the Paris-aligned target of ‘well below 2 ºC’.

Key outcomes of the report include: 

  •  The emissions intensity of power used in gold production is estimated to fall by 35 percent by 2030, according to the current strategies of the gold mining industries. The increased use of renewable energy sources and the plans of gold mining companies to replace direct site-generated electricity from fossil fuels with grid connectivity are the main reasons behind this 35 percent fall in emissions.
  • The report estimates these changes could potentially reduce gold mining power emissions by at least a further 9% by 2030 if the companies would go with the plans for the next decade. This, combined with the above changes, should place a 1.5ºC target within reach.
  • Moving fast with these actions will make the achievement of Paris-aligned climate targets achievable.
  • The increased use of Renewable Energy and improved operational efficiency with advanced technologies will support the gold mining industry’s energy transitions.

Randy Smallwood, Chair of the World Gold Council and CEO and President at Wheaton Precious Metals, commented: “While climate change is a global challenge, it is also an opportunity for the gold mining sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to renewable energy sources, which isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for all stakeholders.

He further added, “We still have a long way to go, but as an industry, we are proud of the progress we have made over the last few years and the continued efforts to transition our energy sources. This new report not only shows what we as an industry have accomplished but also highlights the improvements the industry is striving to make over the next decade and looking even further ahead at 2050 in trying to achieve the Paris climate targets.”

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