Degrowing mining

From Carla Sbert: csbert

This paper is a thought experiment on what mining could look like if we took the Earth Charter seriously. The analysis is also inspired by degrowth critiques/proposals. Perhaps it may be of interest.

It’s the 4th piece in the current issue of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Journal, “Re-Imagining Mining: The Earth Charter as a Guide for Ecological Mining Reform” (abstract below), freely available at:


“With its far-reaching effects on society and the environment, mining has a crucial role to play in building a sustainable world, and must be profoundly transformed. The Earth Charter offers an ethical grounding for the transition to a world of sustainability, equity, and peace. This transition becomes ever more urgent as the global ecological, economic, and social crises deepen.

This paper argues that the Earth Charter provides guidance for ecological mining reform, and draws from it three overarching rules: cause no serious environmental harm, minimize depletion, and protect the rights of people. To mine in a way that is consistent with these principles of ecological justice and ecological integrity would entail a profound transformation of mining. While very challenging, this surely would be easier than experiencing collapse, and the reward might be nothing less than an ecologically just society.”

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