Climate Change and Extractives

6. Resource development options and considerations for governments

Development options

A 2016 Chatham House report sets out a number of resource development options for governments, from 'Rush to Market' strategies that envisage fast production and depletion to a 'Go Slow' approach where economic diversification is prioritised. The report includes consideration of models where extractives sector development is not undertaken and other areas of sustainable growth are envisaged. 

The report is available here and the range of options considered are outlined in a table which can be found here.

Government checklist for the extractives sector in a carbon constrained world

Based on this work, a checklist of questions for governments to consider when thinking about development pathways and evaluating options in a carbon constrained world is presented below.

  • Have you understood the full life cycle costs and benefits and the range of extraction impacts? This requires engaging in conversation not only with the extractives sector but also with others such as agriculture, fishing, industry, utilities, infrastructure and water sectors.

  • Have you stress-tested national resources, infrastructure and energy plans against a fossil fuel demand scenario in a 2°C emissions world?

  • Are there alternative paths for sustainable development that might be chosen instead or impacted by an extractives-led development path?

  • Will the existing sustainable development goals and climate commitments be affected by an extractives sector led development path?

  • Can the development of existing resources be planned as a transitional path that will lead to a transition to a low carbon economy?

  • What goals, targets and policies are needed to keep a low carbon transition pathway on track?

  • What role can the extractives sector play in supporting climate change and carbon reduction goals?

  • Can skills, experience and know-how developed in the extractives sector be transferred into other green economy sectors e.g. renewables, engineering, clean-tech?