Publication Date
Jordy Lee, Morgan Bazilian, Benjamin Sovacool
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This paper critically reviews and identifies gaps in the methodologies used to analyze the environmental impacts of mineral and metal global supply chains. Of specific focus are assessments of the extraction and production of minerals and metals needed for a low-carbon energy future. Current trends and projections suggest that the future low-carbon energy system will have greater material needs than the current one. Thus, it is important to better understand the full impacts of increased resource extraction to help ensure a sustainable and just transition. This review reveals that existing methodologies are currently insufficient in capturing the full suite of environmental, social, and governance concerns. The copper supply chain is used as a case study to highlight areas that require refined or augmented methodologies, with an in-depth examination of the corporate practices of Freeport-McMoRan, Vale, and BHP. Together, this review of existing methodologies and examples from the copper supply chain highlight the incomplete and variable nature of environmental and climate reporting within the mining industry. Areas for future work are defined with the goal of advancing accounting frameworks for the mining industry and the associated supply chain.