April 30, 2024

In a new report, the Canada Climate Law Initiative highlights areas where major mining companies of Canada could improve their oversight of climate-related risks

VANCOUVER, 30 April 2024 – The Canadian mining industry has gone to great lengths in recent years to improve its governance of climate-related risks and overall sustainability. Still, there are a number of areas where major mining companies in Canada have room for improvement.

Canadian mining companies are behind on performance targets for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions under the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) standards, with only 60% of companies reaching target levels.

Credible targets and metrics, dependable board oversight, integrated climate strategies, adequate risk management, and consistent and comparable disclosures should now be a standard part of business for mining companies in Canada. But major mining companies are well placed to accomplish more.

A new guide from the Canada Climate Law Initiative outlines current and proposed future Canadian securities law disclosure requirements, accounting standards, and obligations that may impact mining companies.

Under increased regulatory scrutiny, and mounting pressure from investors and consumers, there is a need for Canadian mining companies to improve their climate-related disclosures and governance. Firms which are proactive stand to benefit.

“Improving the quality and transparency of disclosures can increase investor confidence and help avoid accusations of greenwashing. This can go a long way in boosting the Canadian mining sector’s reputation and help build better relationships with communities of interest,” according to legal scholar, Helen Alexandra Joan Tooze, in the 44-page Guide.

Furthermore, mining companies must be able to provide details on how the board of directors and management are overseeing climate-related risks and opportunities.

“While mining is essential for the transition to net-zero emissions, Canadian mining companies and their boards must also play an important role by adopting effective climate governance practices. This guide helpfully outlines climate-related risks mining companies currently face, and will likely experience in the future as regulators, and the public, demand more from the industry,” said Sara Ghebremusse, Cassels Brock Chair in Mining Law and Finance at Western University, Faculty of Law.

In the new guide, the Canada Climate Law Initiative expands on five areas that large, established mining companies in Canada should strive for, including greater consideration for local community impacts, improving circular operations to reduce waste, and setting more detailed targets and clear plans to achieve them.

Download the guide here: https://ccli.ubc.ca/resource/unearthing-a-greener-future-digging-deeper-into-effective-climate-governance-in-the-canadian-mining-sector/

Media contact: ccli-info@allard.ubc.ca

About the Canada Climate Law Initiative

The Canada Climate Law Initiative (CCLI) provides businesses and regulators with climate governance guidance so they can make informed decisions toward a net-zero economy. Powered by the nation’s top expertise, we engage with boards of directors and trustees to ensure businesses understand their legal duties with respect to climate change. Our legal research allows us to stay one step ahead in a rapidly transforming policy landscape.

CCLI is supported financially by family foundations, and is led by Professors of Law at the University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law and Osgoode Hall Law School, York University.