HomeCoalTopics discussed at Africa Mining Forum tie in with COP26 theme

Topics discussed at Africa Mining Forum tie in with COP26 theme

This year’s edition of Africa Mining Forum, ending on 4 November, is focusing on how the mining sector can comply with the increasing ESG mandates to create a sustainable future. ESG is the overarching theme at this year’s event. It will also outline how technology is helping to ensure ESG compliance in the mining sector.

There is no doubt that mining is the backbone of modern economies and the world rests on the mining sector. While this may be a big responsibility, it is also an opportunity and ESG gives the opportunity to deliver value to stakeholders.”

Mining is critical to a low-carbon future and investors need to engage with the sector to get a clearer vision of where mining needs to get to in order to retain its importance in economies and its social licence to operate and become an exemplar of ESG best practice that other sectors can follow.

Building up to COP26 G20 nations pledged to end finance for all coal-fired power plants overseas. This followed a similar commitment made by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the United Nations General Assembly earlier this year. According to new research from Boston University’s Global Development Policy Centre, the G20 pledge means that 99% of all development finance institutions are committed to cutting coal investment and raising support for renewables.

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These sentiments, however, do not align with the ambitions of the developing world. Coal is critical to enabling South Africa’s stability and future growth. This has long been the view of Menar MD, Vuslat Bayoglu. He has consistently pointed out that the coal industry in South Africa lacks an industry champion and a lobby grouping.

He is also adamant that coal and renewable energy sources are not in competition with each other, but instead should be viewed as complementary power sources.

Xi’s September announcement that China would no longer be involved in overseas coal projects was the most significant change so far, depriving coal-fired power of its biggest financial backers, including the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, the study said.

The decision appears to have had an immediate effect on the country’s financial institutions, with the Bank of China vowing to end new overseas coal mining and power projects.

With coal already struggling to compete with renewables — and many analysts forecasting that the sector will eventually consist of billions of dollars’ worth of “stranded assets” — China’s decision to pull out represented a rare alignment of political, economic and climate interests.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to a low carbon economy for the country – promising that South Africa will play its part in reducing global emissions. The R131 billion agreement includes France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

“The highly concessional finance that will be mobilised through this partnership will accelerate investment in renewable energy and the development of new sectors such as electric vehicles and green hydrogen,” said Ramaphosa.