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Tuesday, November 23 • 16:45 - 18:00
Resource Extraction and Climate Change in the Pacific: Double Exposure

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This session examines the intersection of natural resource extraction and climate change in the Pacific.

The Pacific is at the frontline of a ‘double exposure’ to climate change and the consequences of global demand for natural resources. The region is exposed to rising sea levels and catastrophic cyclones and droughts, and unmitigated climate change impacts will have dire effects. The region also has a long history of large-scale extraction of natural resources, including metals, oil and gas. Evidence shows that extraction has generated profound human rights abuses in the Pacific, including displacement, conflict, environmental degradation, and rampant inequality.

At the global scale there is an urgent push to transition to clean energy-systems to reduce the consequences of climate change. Paradoxically, this will require increased extraction and supply of ‘energy transition metals’ – such as cobalt, copper and nickel among many others – needed for new technologies. The Pacific contains enormous undeveloped deposits of these resources. Global demand for energy transition metals will translate into increased pressure on Pacific nation states and communities to approve and enable extraction of these metals. It is imperative the Pacific does not become a social and environmental sacrifice zone in the name of an urgent global energy transition.

This session therefore considers the human rights consequences of increased resource extraction under conditions of climate change in the Pacific. Speakers will consider these future pressures from three different perspectives: governance, community, and industry.

This session aims to:
  • discuss the intersection of resource extraction and climate change in the Pacific;
  • generate awareness on the human rights dimensions of increased extraction under conditions of climate change in the Pacific; and
  • inform policy discussions on extraction and climate change, emphasising human rights dimensions.

Session organized by Associate Professor Nick Bainton, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland.

avatar for Nick Bainton

Nick Bainton

Principal Research Fellow at Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute (senior extractives and Pacific specialist), The University of Queensland

avatar for Dr John Burton

Dr John Burton

Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland
Dr John Burton has 30 years of research experience on the social impacts of resource extraction, including a cumulative four and a half years of consultancy fieldwork at extractive industry sites in PNG, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and West Papua, as a private consultant, as a... Read More →
avatar for Robyn James

Robyn James

Gender and Equity Advisor, The Nature Conservancy
Robyn James is the Gender and Equity Advisor for The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific division. Over a 20+ year conservation career, Robyn has developed deep experience in gender, equity and social justice, community based conservation, philanthropy, and government policies and... Read More →
avatar for Alex Herman

Alex Herman

Seabed Minerals Commissioner, Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority
avatar for Krista Jacob

Krista Jacob

Mines Officer, Solomon Islands Ministry of Mines
Krista is the head of the Tenement Section in the MinesDivision since joining the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrificationin 2005. Currently, she holds the position of Acting Director of Mines. Kristahas experiences in issuance of Minerals Rights Licences contained in the... Read More →

Tuesday November 23, 2021 16:45 - 18:00 GMT+12