Gold and climate change

The World Gold Council and its members recognise that climate change imposes very substantial risks to the global economy and socio-economic development. Policy makers, industry stakeholders, asset owners, investors, and wider society are now eager for a greater understanding of these risks and their potential consequences, and how they might be mitigated or managed in future. To contribute to a clearer, more consistent appreciation of how climate-related risks (and opportunities) might impact the future prospects of the gold industry, we have undertaken a programme of research, in collaboration with leading sustainability experts and academics. 

In 2018, we published Gold and Climate change: An Introduction. This report was an initial step towards a better understanding of the gold industry’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) footprint, the efforts already underway in the gold mining sector to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency, and gold's potential contribution to the development of low carbon technologies. 

Building on our initial findings, we released Gold and Climate Change: Current and Future Impacts in 2019. We believe that the analysis in this report offers a comprehensive overview of the current status of gold’s climate impacts, while identifying how the sector might adapt in the face of climate change in order to transition to a ‘net zero’ carbon future. It also examines how gold’s role as an investment asset might be affected by climate-related physical and transition risks in comparison to the other mainstream investments.

Looking in more detail at gold’s decarbonisation pathway, our 2020 ‘Gold and Climate Change: The Energy Transition’ report takes a closer look at gold mining’s energy transition and climate impacts over the next decade. It aims to provide investors and industry stakeholders with greater clarity around gold’s greenhouse gas emissions profile, the opportunities for the gold sector to reduces its carbon footprint, and its potential pathway to net zero, in line with Paris Agreement targets.

Our latest research, Gold and Climate Change: Decarbonising Investment Portfolios, examines gold’s potential impact on the carbon profile of investment portfolios and their alignment with climate targets. This report offers investors, asset allocators, and investment consultants and advisors a greater understanding of the implications of the transition to net zero carbon for gold in the context of a global multi-asset portfolio.