COP24 United Nations Climate Change Conference (3-14 December 2018) will take place in Katowice, Poland under the auspices of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB) of UNFCCC

Mining Industries and the Sustainable Transformation of Towns with Circular Economy and Just Transition

EIT RawMaterials will be represented by Dr Karen Hanghøj, CEO and Managing Director of EIT RawMaterials, at the Mining Industry and Just Transition session on 10 December 2018 – 10:00-13:00 in PCCB Capacity Building Hub.

Members of a multidisciplinary research consortium will be holding a side event at the COP24 Climate Change Conference in Poland on 10 December to introduce a new project exploring the sustainable transformation of mining towns.

The mining of minerals and metals in the 21stcentury is likely to become technologically more efficient as part of a shift to a more circular economy. In addition, the imperative to reduce reliance on fossil fuels means that certain minerals, such as coal will become increasingly redundant. While this may contribute to more ecologically sustainable development, people living in mine-affected communities will be vulnerable to lost employment opportunities and the risk of finding themselves in post-mining ghost towns.

New, collaborative, multi-stakeholder ways of thinking about mining, mine closure and post-mining futures are required to support the just transition of mining towns and the wellbeing of the people who live in them. This means exploring alternative pathways to prosperity and developing social resilience in the face of environmental, economic and social change.

The consortium consists of an international team of experts representing: Imperial College London, the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Science (Cracow, Poland), The University of Cape Town (South Africa), the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London, 3 Ideas Ltd (London), EIT RawMaterials (EU) and the Katowice Special Economic Zone (Katowice, Poland), are working with input from local community, UN Representatives from The Paris Committee on Capacitybuilding (PCCB) and the mining industry. Initial studies will be conducted in mining-affected communities in Poland in the Katowice Special Economic Zone (KSSE), South Africa and Zambia.

This is true north-south collaboration, and we are excited to be working together at what we believe is a critical time for exploring what ‘just transition’ means to people who live and work in mining communities around the world.

Dr Sandra Piesik, the consortium co-founder

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