The transition to renewable energy is in the hands of mining companies and may be in jeopardy. Production of certain minerals will have to increase by as much as 500% by 2050 to meet the demand required for achieving a below 2 degrees celsius future, according to a 2019 report by the World Bank Group. However, the companies that mine metals that are essential for producing green energy are starved for talent and their ability to meet this unprecedented increase is uncertain.
The mining industry is saddled with a history of exploiting workers, sexual assault and natural and preventable disasters and has a reputation that is at odds with the sector’s new role in helping the world avert climate disaster. This is contributing to a recruiting crisis where 70% of 15-30-year olds said they definitely wouldn’t or probably wouldn’t work in mining in a recent survey by McKinsey.
Mining is also a male-dominated field, with a reputation of being unsafe for women. Mining giant Rio Tinto found 28% of women working in mining experienced sexual harassment while 21 women reported cases of actual or attempted rape or sexual assault in the past five years, according to a 2021 study of 10,000 employees.
In the U.K. four universities have banned mining firms from recruiting on campus and attending careers fairs, reported the Wall Street Journal. This reflects the broader trend of recent grads and young workers who want environmentally sustainable careers and identify mining companies as pariahs because of their negative impact on the planet.
Young people are the driving force behind climate relief efforts. As such, young adults prioritize a career where they can positively contribute to climate action. Almost 70% of 10,000 16–25-year-olds surveyed in ten countries said they were extremely worried or very worried about climate change, according to a 2021 study published in The Lancet. In the UK, a survey of 1000 young people found that 57% want to work for an environmentally sustainable business. In Asia Pacific, an AccentureACN survey showed that 77% of young people aspire to have a green job within the next 10 years.
The post The Future Of Mining Depends On Climate Action Leadership appeared first on Energy News Beat.