The 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) explored how the mining sector can reposition itself to supply critical minerals to enable the ongoing global clean energy transition, while ensuring they are extracted and traded in a responsible manner.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting outlines the mining industry’ crucial role in supplying the minerals and metals that are essential for the energy transition. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change “would require a quadrupling of critical mineral requirements for clean energy technologies by 2040,” and in 2040, six times more mineral inputs than today would be needed “to hit net zero globally by 2050.”

Against this background, the meeting focused on the theme, ‘Critical Minerals and the Energy Transition.’ Participants considered, inter alia:

  • government readiness to handle the demand and the resulting transitions;
  • how to change resource taxation to best suit and take advantage of the rising demand for critical minerals;
  • how legacy mines and waste might be re-mined for critical minerals; and
  • how to ensure that local communities fully benefit from the rush to supply minerals for the energy transition.

Among other issues the AGM examined, the ENB highlights “the future of mining and how to ensure the industry is ready to meet ongoing challenges and address global trends,” including the role of women in the mine of the future; the evolution of how the sector responds to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements; how the industry can accelerate decarbonizing its operations to reach a low-carbon future; and the sector’s challenges in building resilient supply chains.

The IGF was established following the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). It serves as a global platform for dialogue among its member governments and stakeholders from mining companies, industry associations, civil society, and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The IGF convened its first AGM in 2005, with 25 member countries. It now has 80 members. In 2015, the IGF Secretariat moved from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in Ottawa, Canada.

The 18th AGM of the IGF convened in hybrid format in Geneva, Switzerland, from 7-10 November 2022. [ENB Coverage of the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development]