Changes in the course of climate change have an impact on all regions of the planet. In addition to the effects at global level, the consequences differ at the local level. On the one hand, extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, floods or heat waves can occur more frequently and more severely, but on the other hand, long-term changes in local biodiversity, precipitation regimes and temperature levels can also occur.

Climate change as a risk multiplier

In this context, climate change appears as a "threat multiplier“ that can lead to an intensification of ecological and social problems, for example by accelerating the loss of biodiversity or increasing poverty. The mining industry is an economic sector that can interact with climate change through various factors. Risks to the mining industry can include environmental supply disruptions and increased environmental hazards, but also social impacts.

Ecological risks and security of supplyIn this context, the aim of the research project "Effects of climate change on the eco-logical criticality of the German demand for raw materials" (KlimRess) was to investigate the possible effects of climate change on mining. The following research questions were addressed in the project:

  • How are the environmental risks of mining influenced by climate change?
  • How are the raw material supply chains affected?

Based on five qualitative case studies and a review of the current state of research, the study evaluated the interrelationships and described the effects of climate change on the ecological risks of mining and the security of supply of various raw materials.

In addition, the report presents results of a quantitative assessment of the vulnerability to climate change of the main producing countries and the reserves of bauxite, coking coal, copper, iron ore, lithium, nickel, platinum group elements, tin and tungsten, focusing on the following questions: Which resource-producing countries are comparatively more vulnerable to climate change? What deductions can be concluded about the global primary production of certain commodities and their vulnerability to climate change?