The World Bank has launched what is claimed to be the first ever fund dedicated to making mining for the low carbon energy transition “climate-smart” and sustainable.
The Climate-Smart Mining Facility, targeting a total investment of $50 million (£38.2m), will support the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies such as wind, solar power and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles (EVs).
It will focus on activities around four core themes: climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; reducing material impacts and creating market opportunities, contributing to the decarbonisation and reduction of material impacts along the supply chain of critical minerals needed for clean energy technologies.
The announcement comes as the World Bank’s report found a low carbon future will be “significantly more mineral intensive than a business-as-usual scenario”.
Global demand for “strategic minerals” such as lithium, graphite and nickel is expected to skyrocket by 965%, 383% and 108% respectively by 2050.
The multi-donor fund will work with developing countries and emerging economies to implement sustainable and responsible strategies and practices across the mineral value chain, with partners including the German Government and private sector companies, Rio Tinto and Anglo American.
The Facility will also assist governments to build a robust policy framework that promotes climate-smart mining.
Projects supported by the fund could include the integration of renewable energy into mining operations, preventing deforestation and repurposing mine sites as well as recycling of minerals.
Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the World Bank said: “The World Bank supports a low carbon transition where mining is climate-smart and value chains are sustainable and green.
“Developing countries can play a leading role in this transition: developing strategic minerals in a way that respects communities, ecosystems and the environment. Countries with strategic minerals have a real opportunity to benefit form the global shift to clean energy.”