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Public Policy Processes and Sustainability in the Minerals and Energy Industries

Abstract

This chapter considers the extent to which public policy processes are geared towards sustainability in the minerals and energy industries, and how they may need to change to take the requirements for sustainability into account. It begins with a general discussion of sustainability in the minerals and energy industries, drawing on examples from three countries. As these examples show, mineral extraction is neither inherently sustainable nor unsustainable, but rather is made sustainable or unsustainable, in large part by public policies applied to the industry. The nature and content of public policies reflect, in turn, the policy-making processes utilised in formulating and implementing policy, and so it is critical to consider the links between policy processes and sustainability. Nine specific variables are identified that shape these processes, including: the identity and number of interests or groups involved in making policy and how much influence they exert; the range of policy alternatives considered; time frames and information sources for policy making; the time periods over which the impacts of policy alternatives are considered; and the criteria applied by policy makers. The chapter argues that current policy-making processes in relation to the minerals and energy industries are often incompatible with the pursuit of sustainability, and that radical changes are required if public policies are to support sustainabilty in these industries.

Keywords

  • Aboriginal People
  • Policy Process
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Uranium Mining
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Correspondence to Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh .

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O’Faircheallaigh, C. (2009). Public Policy Processes and Sustainability in the Minerals and Energy Industries. In: Richards, J. (eds) Mining, Society, and a Sustainable World. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-01103-0_15

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