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The second day of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) has put a spotlight on the industry’s response to ESG and energy transition. 

The keynote address was a panel discussion focusing on energy transition and decarbonisation. The panel was made up of global heavyweights from the energy, mining, infrastructure, and digital sector.

Setting the scene, David Solsky, Vice President Sustainability Software Solutions at IBM said, “We are on the verge of the biggest transformation of the global economy in a century.”

“What is certain is that the energy transition is going to happen. What is unknown is when or how,” said Sarah Barker, Head of Climate Risk Governance at Minter Ellison. “We do know however, transitions are not linear, they tend to be bumpy”

Talking to the mammoth task ahead, Sue Brown, Executive Group Director Sustainability at Worley said “the scale of investment needed in energy infrastructure alone will need to increase 4 or 5 times every year for the next 20 to 30 years”

However, the transition comes with risk warns Michael van Maanen, Executive General Manager, Corporate, Government and Community at Whitehaven Coal. Mr. Maanen understands the social and economic imperative of transitioning to green and renewable energy but believes the transition must not come at the expense of exponentially higher power prices.

“Investors are accelerating the transition much faster than customers can bear and that’s problematic,” said Mr Maanen. 

Eng. Suliman Bin Khaled Almazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) explained how Saudi Arabia is tackling energy costs amid their rapid transition to renewable and green energy.

“We have added sustainability to our equation when determining risk in new projects. What we have found is that by doing that we are creating long-term value for companies who want to invest new projects,” said Eng. Almazroua.

Over the three-day conference, delegates at IMARC have discussed how to best approach energy transition and the need to decarbonise. Delegates have used the forum to determine global best practices and to explore new technologies that can with the transition. 

Tomorrow is the final day of IMARC 2022 and will focus on the sector’s digital transformation, the future of workplace culture and diversity and inclusion.

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