Canada’s climate is changing. We’re observing shifting air temperature, variations in air quality, increasing water-, food- and vector-borne diseases, an increasing number of heat waves, and more impactful natural weather events such as flooding, wildfires and storms. Communities across urban, rural, coastal and northern regions of Canada vary in their susceptibility to climate-related hazards. As such, it is important to understand the factors that make communities vulnerable, so that protective measures can be identified and implemented to help develop resilience.
An important tool for building that resilience is the environmental impact assessment. This assessment is used to evaluate the potential contribution of proposed mining projects to climate change. However, the regional and national processes are not consistent in the methods applied to assess project contribution to climate change and impact on health. As one of the top five global producers of potash, uranium and niobium, nickel and other minerals, Canada’s mining industry faces extensive implications from climate change, including significant risks that could affect all facet of the mining cycle – from exploration, planning, transportation and operations to decommissioning. One obvious consequence of climate change is water management, a major expense of most mining operations. However, many mining companies consider climate change a low to medium risk to their business operations.