Mining and climate change: A review and framework for analysis
In this paper, we demonstrate that climate change is critically important for the current and future status of mining activity and its impacts on surrounding communities and environments. We illustrate this through examples from Latin America, including a spatial analysis of the intersection between projected climate changes and existing mining operations. We then elaborate a framework to identify and investigate the relationships among mining, climate change, and public and private responses to them. The framework also notes the importance of political economy and learning processes to the forms taken by these relationships. Our paper then reports on a focused review of peer-reviewed publications that aims to identify the extent to which a core research literature on mining and climate change currently exists. We show that this literature is still very limited, but that the analysis that does exist can be encapsulated by the main elements of our framework. This enables us to describe the current structure of both peer-reviewed and policy research on mining and climate change, and identify areas for future research. In particular, we note the chronic absence of research on this relationship for the vast majority of developing countries, where some of the most serious vulnerabilities to climate change exist.