IEA Clean Coal Centre 2018 Report
The IEA Clean Coal Centre recently released its report on “Environmental and Other Effects of Mining and Transport.” The report discusses the environmental impact of the coal life-cycle, from the condition of the land pre-mining, the transportation and processing of coal, to the closure and sealing of retired mines. These impacts are juxtaposed with the guidelines currently in place, such as the United Nation’s (UN) Berlin Guidelines, and UN Environment Programme’s “voluntary guidelines for activities related to Energy production” to highlight mining practices that minimize harmful environmental impacts as much as possible.
The social and political impacts of mining are also examined, using specific mines in a variety of countries as case studies. As the UN Economic Commission for Europe Committee on Sustainable Development explained, “Until recently, social and environmental factors have rarely been considered in the classification of natural resources. Their importance has grown considerably in the last few years. Many projects have been delayed or cancelled because they failed to meet social or environmental expectations, even though they met all other requirements.”