Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 65–81 | Cite as

Perceptions of climate change risks in primary resource use industries: a survey of the Canadian mining sector

  • James D. Ford
  • Tristan Pearce
  • Jason Prno
  • Frank Duerden
  • Lea Berrang Ford
  • Maude Beaumier
  • Tanya Smith
Original Article


A survey documenting how climate change is perceived, experienced, and responded to in the Canadian mining sector was administered to industry practitioners at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada annual meeting. Nine key findings from the survey are discussed: (1) The Canadian mining sector is sensitive to climate-related conditions. (2) Climate change is perceived to be having a negative impact on mining operations. (3) Companies are taking action to manage the current impacts. (4) Cost and uncertainty are commonly identified barriers to adapting to current climate change. (5) Future climate change is expected to have impacts for the industry. (6) Climate change projections are perceived as threats by the majority of respondents. (7) Despite the perceived threat, companies are not currently taking action to plan for future impacts. (8) Cost and uncertainty are commonly identified barriers to adapting to future climate change impacts. (9) The mining sector is currently making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The survey is exploratory in nature, establishing a baseline for targeted research to assess in greater detail the vulnerability of mining to climate change.


Climate change Mining Canada Impacts Adaptation Mitigation 



This project was funded by the David Suzuki Foundation and benefited from in-kind support from the International Polar Year CAVIAR project and Dr Barry Smit at the University of Guelph. We would like to thank Adam Bonnycastle, Steven Scott, Melodi Moini, and Joana Marques who helped with the project and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada who allowed us to survey at their annual meeting in Toronto.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Ford
    • 1
  • Tristan Pearce
    • 2
  • Jason Prno
    • 3
  • Frank Duerden
    • 4
  • Lea Berrang Ford
    • 1
  • Maude Beaumier
    • 1
  • Tanya Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Knight Piésold Ltd.North BayCanada
  4. 4.Frank Duerden ConsultingTorontoCanada

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