2019 AGM Communiqué
In the face of a changing climate, the mining sector must continue to find new ways to reduce its carbon footprint while also adapting to the impacts of rising temperatures, changing precipitation rates, and increasingly frequent and intense storms. At the same time, the sector will be an important part of the transition to a low-carbon future, as it provides the material inputs needed to produce solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable energy technologies. It will also support climate resilience across a number of sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure and transportation. To help meet their international commitments on climate action, governments must ensure that enabling conditions are in place within their jurisdictions that allow, encourage, and require mining and mineral exploration companies to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
As a result, the 2019 IGF Annual General Meeting (AGM) focused on the theme of mining in a changing climate.
The IGF convened its 15th AGM, hosted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 7 to 11, 2019. Over 500 participants registered, including delegates from over 80 countries, as well as representatives from international organizations, companies, industry associations and civil society. The IGF was pleased to welcome as new members Bhutan, Georgia, Ireland, Lesotho, Panama and Saudi Arabia, who have all joined the Forum since the 2018 AGM.
Prior to the official opening of the AGM, government representatives gathered on Monday, October 7, for an introductory discussion on climate change and mining in their respective countries. IGF members also shared their views on the first draft of the IGF Guidance for Governments on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, which will be released in 2020 during a consultative session with the Secretariat.
On October 8, 2019, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant welcomed delegates and highlighted the urgent global need to take climate action. She emphasized the importance of developing and implementing strategies and policies to reduce the contribution of the mining industry to climate change, and to help producer countries adapt to its consequences. She encouraged participants to think beyond the necessary actions within the mining sector itself and to analyze how mining companies and governments can work toward this goal in collaboration with supply chain actors, including transportation, manufacturers and consumers.
Panelists from 17 nations and 45 organizations shared their experiences and insights during the AGM’s 22 sessions and five lunch sessions.
The sessions focused on a wide range of topics related to the theme of mining in a changing climate, including:
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Mining Sector
- Gendered Climate Impacts and Policies
- Government Strategies for Low-Carbon Minerals
- Green Mine of the Future
- Impacts and Policy Implications of a Changing Climate on Mining
- Key Drivers and Policy Frameworks for Renewables
- Stranded Mineral Assets and the Future of Mining
- Supporting Transition in Coal Regions
- ASM Minerals for Climate Resiliency
Subjects covered in these sessions included voluntary sustainability initiatives, environment and social impact assessments, gender equality in mining, global tailings standards, mine closure and the post-mining transition, the future of work, mine revenue collection, the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals (EPRM) and resource taxation. An ASM Marketplace was also held, profiling the sector for Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Honduras, Mali and Nigeria.
A number of side events also took place during the AGM, which were covered extensively as daily summaries in the IGF Bulletin.
General Council and Executive Committee Election
On October 10, elections were held during the General Council for new members of the Executive Committee. Representatives from Mongolia, Senegal and Uganda were nominated for a second term, representing Asia and Africa. Newly elected Executive Committee members included the Netherlands (Europe), Canada (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) and Brazil (South America). Senegal was elected as Chair of the Executive Committee.
Local Content Policy Technical Workshop
On Friday, October 11, following the official close of the AGM, a full-day technical workshop was delivered on local content policies in the mining sector. The one-day workshop covered key aspects of the IGF Guidance for Governments on local content policies, including the impacts of technological change on these policies. The workshop also launched the new IGF online training modules for local content policies.
In closing, the IGF Chair thanked delegates for their participation and UNCTAD for once again hosting the meeting.
The delegates thanked the outgoing IGF Chair and Executive Committee members for their support of the IGF and thanked the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) for hosting the IGF Secretariat and for enhancing the services it offers to members. Delegates also thanked the organizers, as well as the Canadian, German and United Kingdom governments, for their ongoing generous support of the Forum.
The Secretariat announced to delegates that the next AGM will be hosted by UNCTAD and convened from November 9 to 13, 2020, in Geneva at the Palais des Nations.