Bridging the gap to build resilience
Within any given country, there is often a disconnect between policies that create local value and the green growth agenda, with competing and siloed efforts to drive each agenda forward.
In the case of the mining sector, which provides input to almost every product and service in the world, there is a significant misalignment between mining companies’ investment in climate-sensitive production processes, and policymakers’ efforts to develop a cohesive green economy framework for the mining sector to navigate. As a result, neither industry nor government have yet to effectively leverage their climate imperatives and mandates to seize green growth opportunities. Meanwhile, communities and local suppliers are focused on the jobs and livelihoods that come from mining and may not prioritize “green” or climate concerns.
The Extractives Global Programmatic Support (EGPS) Multi-Donor Trust Fund identified this misalignment and took the first steps to bridge the gap, publishing a first-of-its-kind report, “Building Resilience: A Green Growth Framework for Mobilizing Mining Investment.” The report outlines how public and private sectors can adopt practices and policies that better integrate climate change and local economic opportunity activities. Going further, the report offers examples of projects and policies that support green growth: particularly climate-related activities that create scalable economic value and invest in long-lasting green infrastructure.
Looking at how economies can diversify away from a highly volatile natural resources sector with unreliable returns, the report suggests ways to create transferable sectors and skills for people and build the resilience of both human and environmental capital. The report also suggests that a country’s Nationally Determined Contribution can guide approaches on both climate and local economic policies.
From concept to practice: testing a framework
Having published a report and communicated its findings with key stakeholders through a series of webinars, the EGPS is now exploring how a green growth framework could work in a low-income, mineral-rich country. Low-income countries are often extremely dependent on mineral resources, so a green growth strategy is particularly relevant for them. To bridge the gap between “local content” and green growth agendas and involve both public and private sectors, everyone must act. The mining industry must direct investment toward sectors that bolster green growth, while the government must create and enforce a well-formed green growth policy that will incentivize companies to operate in a more climate-sensitive manner. Finally, the end-consumers of minerals and metals are also powerful actors in this process – requiring governments and companies to step up their climate and green growth credentials.