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The impact of climate change poses a significant challenge to infrastructure projects and their host communities. IFC’s Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory supports the private sector to ensure climate change risks around land, energy and water are considered in business decision-making. The team also supports companies with processes to engage host communities on shared climate change risks and opportunities, including supporting communities understand how they can adapt to the physical impact of climate change.
The transition to a clean energy future is being accompanied by increasing demand for minerals and metals needed for renewable energy production. The World Bank Group is supporting countries with technical and policy advice, direct investment financing, risk mitigation measures and by leveraging private sector financing. In 2019, the World Bank launched the Climate-Smart Mining (CSM) Initiative in partnership with IFC, which supports the responsible extraction, processing and recycling of minerals needed for low-carbon technologies by scaling up technical assistance and investments in mineral-rich developing countries.
The mining sector’s response to a low carbon future extends beyond the supply of critical minerals. CSM practices will be needed to decarbonize and optimize the use of minerals needed to manufacture renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies.
These practices include:
CSM practices will aim to ensure that the mining operations that produce the minerals necessary for a low carbon future, are themselves low carbon intensive. The CSM Initiative is based on four building blocks: climate mitigation, climate adaptation, reducing material impacts and creating market opportunities.
IFC is supporting the CSM Initiative by producing insights and knowledge that would help IFC’s investment and advisory clients to accelerate the adoption of CSM principles and transition to a greener mining supply chain.
IFC is developing a net zero roadmap for the mining sector, which outlines a range of possible steps and pathways to limit emissions from extraction to end use, with the aim of creating a greener mining supply chain.
IFC will develop guidance for mining companies to undertake vulnerability assessments and identify adaptation measures to help strengthen the climate resilience of local communities with a focus on women.
Lastly, IFC is developing a business case and toolkit to promote gender inclusivity in climate-smart mining practices.
A new World Bank Group report, “Minerals for Climate Action: “The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition,” finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that over 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to deploy wind, solar and geothermal power, as well as energy storage, required for achieving a below 2°C future.
Other Climate Initiatives
IFC’s Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory works with the International Hydropower Association to develop a set of guidelines for project developers and operators. This will inform their efforts at mainstreaming climate adaptation and resilience within their operations. The guidelines cover a series of targeted climate resilience measures and interventions. They are designed to ensure that a project’s construction and/or operation does not result in incremental impacts or vulnerabilities to the environment or third parties (communities) because of climate-related risks.
The over-arching objective of this workstream is to mitigate the impact of climate change on communities and strengthen their capacity to adapt to the physical impacts of climate change.
IFC’s Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory team will work with two hydropower developers in Asia and Africa to identify climate risks on host communities and develop mitigation measures to ensure livelihoods are not adversely impacted.