We cannot mine our way to climate justice

The mining industry is increasingly framing itself as part of a just transition but is a major contributor to climate change. Many are predicting a need to mine significantly more in order to ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels, but we know a real transition cannot happen without fundamentally changing the system we live in. 

For example, the Ontario government has stated that the manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries is a strategic focus of the province and naturally industry is on board. However, the manufacturing of electric vehicles will require a massive increase in the critical minerals mined, generating a large carbon footprint. This vision of a green economy remains deeply invested in capitalism and extractive economies. 

The logic the government and industry is using will create sacrifice zones– places that are devastated and destroyed for the supposed greater good of the economy and so certain people in places like Toronto can live comfortable and relatively unchanged lives.

Mining projects are being pushed forward without community consent and in ecologically sensitive spaces under the guise of a just transition. We reject a future that involves sacrifice zones! We reject the idea that mining can be ‘sustainable’ or ‘responsible’ so long as the profits are being made by people far away from the communities that face the worst impacts of mining. 

We have the responsibility to act in solidarity from the belly of the beast

Toronto is central to the global mining industry and we have the opportunity and responsibility to confront the industry here, in the belly of the beast! We do not want our futures invested in this industry through banks and the Canadian Pension Plan, we do not want our children’s education shaped by corporate interests, we want a just transition that builds towards relationships of mutuality rather than domination and exploitation!