Canadian miners lag in formal carbon reduction commitments – survey

Few Canadian mining leaders have committed to full carbon emission reductions by 2050, according to a survey by KPMG.

Decarbonization emerges as one of the industry’s foremost challenges, as the survey conducted last month with 75 mining company decision-makers revealed.

Survey respondents anticipate heightened scrutiny from investors this year regarding their decarbonization strategies.

Findings indicate that fewer than a quarter have made formal commitments to achieve all scope-related carbon emission reductions by 2050 or earlier. About a quarter have not yet made formal commitments but are actively developing emission reduction plans. Moreover, 10% lack both ESG and carbon reduction strategies, while 7% either do not intend to implement such strategies or face challenges in reducing emissions at present, according to KMPG data.

Scope 1 encompasses greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly owned or controlled by organizations, while scope 2 includes indirect emissions resulting from the production of purchased energy. Reducing scope 3 emissions, which traverse the company’s value chain, poses a considerable challenge.

“Many in the industry face substantial hurdles to reducing scope 3 emissions, particularly due to Canada’s limited smelting or refining capacity for critical minerals,” wrote Heather Cheeseman, national mining leader for KPMG in Canada.

Intermediary minerals produced in Canada are shipped to smelters worldwide.

“Until Canada develops smelting or refining capabilities for mined minerals, miners will encounter limitations,” Cheeseman said.

According to the survey, nine out of 10 Canadian mining leaders are optimistic about the country’s potential to emerge as a global leader in critical minerals.

However, an overwhelming majority (98%) said there is an urgent need for increased investment, government commitment, and favorable tax policies to bolster the sector’s growth.

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