Gold miners must rapidly switch to renewable electricity generation if the industry is to curb emissions sufficiently to align with the Paris Agreements 1.5degree Celsius 2.7degree Fahrenheit global warming target, the World Gold Council WGC said on Wednesday.
The pressure on gold miners to justify their high carbon emissions is intensifying as prices for the safehaven metal surged this year.
Gold sector emissions need to be reduced by 80 by 2050 to be aligned with the wellbelow 2C scenario, or 92 by 2040 to align with a 1.5C scenario outlined in the climate accord, the industry body has said.
Companies need to demonstrate action and awareness of the need to decarbonize their operations at the mine site, said John Mulligan, director of climate change at the WGC.
Replacing 45 of both grid power and direct fossil fuelgenerated electricity would place the industry on track for the 1.5C climate target, the WGC found.
However, persistent use of coalfired electricity, either directly or via grid supply, in a few locations, is a potential obstacle to accelerating progress towards climate target alignment, it said.
The report, based on data from 158 gold mines collected by research group Wood Mackenzie on behalf of the WGC, excludes China the worlds biggest gold producer due to lack of available and consistent data.
The 158 gold mines surveyed together account for about 55 of the worlds largescale industrial gold production.
The WGC projects gold production will stay…