Mining our way out of the climate crisis: potential environmental risks associated with resourcing low carbon technology
Professor Graham Bird Inaugural Lecture
"The key action required to combat climate change is decarbonization, notably in our energy production and transport sectors. Put another way, we need to stop extracting fossil fuel-based energy sources out of the ground. Low carbon, renewable energy technology and electric vehicle technology are key to decarbonization. This technology requires us to use a number of metal resources (e.g. cobalt, rare earth elements). Therefore somewhat ironically, we are going to have extract these resources out of the ground.
The environmental impacts of metal mining were recorded by the ancient Greek scholars, and more recently my research has focused on the processes through which environmental impacts occur and the modelling the global impact. So whilst there is a potential environmental risk associated with our quest for metals to resource low carbon technology, research also shows that these impacts in modern mining operations can be managed and associated lands remediated. This talk will explain the growth in demand for minerals to resource, low energy technology, exemplify the environmental impacts that may arise, but also the progress that has been made in prevention and remediation of such impacts."
Graham Bird is a physical geographer and more specifically an environmental geochemist. His work has focused on the UK but also includes locations such as Bulgaria, Canada, Indonesia, Kosovo and Romania.
Graham’s research generally lies in the field of environmental geochemistry, with a particular interest in the impact of metal mining, metallurgy and mine tailings dam failures upon fluvial systems; Investigation into contaminant metal speciation using Sequential Extraction Procedures (SEPs) and the use of Pb isotopes as geochemical tracers of sediment and sediment-associated metal dispersal; Reconstruction of contaminant-dispersal and sedimentation histories using composite geochemical fingerprinting techniques and multivariate mixing models.
Graham Bird is the Associate pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at Bangor University, as well as being the Director of Teaching and Learning for the College of Science and Engineering and Deputy Head of School for the School of Environmental and Natural Sciences.
This lecture will be given in English.
The lecture will be live streamed. Those attending the lecture remotely will not be able to ask questions.
Main Arts Building Bangor University
Main Arts Building
Main Arts Lecture Theatre