Skip to main content

Energy Use & Climate Change

Climate change, including shifts in temperature and precipitation and more frequent severe weather events, will affect the mining industry in a range of possible ways.

Volatile climatic conditions can affect the stability and effectiveness of infrastructure and equipment; potentially impact environmental protection and site closure practices; lead to changes in the regulatory environment, including increased carbon tax regimes; and potentially impact the stability and cost of water and energy supplies.

We therefore view climate change as a company, community, and global concern. In 2017, we developed a climate change strategy aligned with our overall business strategy to grow free cash flow per share through safe and responsible mining. Barrick’s climate change strategy has three pillars:

  • understand and mitigate the risks associated with climate change;
  • reduce our impacts on climate change;
  • and improve our disclosure on climate change.

Action taken on each pillar in 2017 is described below.

Understand and mitigate the risks associated with climate change: In 2017, we performed a climate change risk assessment, using our standard risk management framework. We assessed risks and opportunities across both potential transition (e.g., regulatory, policy, reputational) and physical (e.g., extreme climate events) aspects of climate change. We have identified the top three climate-related risks and opportunities for our business: an increase in extended duration extreme precipitation events; an increase in climate change regulations to limit greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions; and increased global investment in innovation and low carbon technologies. The assessment also included a review of the current mitigation and controls associated with each risk and identified areas which may need further strengthening to reduce risk.

Reduce the Company’s impact on climate change: Over the course of 2017, we analyzed our current and forecasted GHG emissions to develop an ambitious but realistic goal to reduce Barrick’s GHG emissions. Mining is an energy-intensive business, and we understand the important link between energy use and GHG emissions. By effectively managing our energy use, we can reduce our draw from local energy grids, reduce our GHG emissions, achieve more efficient production, and save direct mining costs. Barrick has set a goal to keep its current GHG emissions flat in the short term and is targeting a 30 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, from a 2016 baseline of 3.5 MT CO2e emitted. This target is also closely aligned with the national targets set by many of our host governments.

Barrick has set a goal to keep its current GHG emissions flat in the short term and is targeting a 30 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, from a 2016 baseline of 3.5 MT CO2e emitted.

Improve our disclosure on climate change: In 2017, we committed to supporting the voluntary recommendations of the industry-led Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”). The TCFD recommendations are considered the new benchmark for disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities, and Barrick was the only Canadian mining company to make this public commitment. We will implement the full recommendations over the next two years.



Governance over climate-related risks and opportunities is provided at both the Board and management level. The Board’s Corporate Responsibility Committee meets at least quarterly and is responsible for overseeing Barrick’s policies, programs, and performance relating to the environment, including climate change. The Risk Committee assists the Board in overseeing the Company’s management of enterprise risks as well as the implementation of policies and standards for monitoring and mitigating such risks. Climate change is built into our formal risk management process, outputs of which are reviewed by the Risk Committee. The Audit Committee reviews the Company’s approach to climate change in the context of Barrick’s disclosures.

At the management level, our Climate Change Committee, comprised of senior members of our management team, provides strategic oversight and governance over key decisions related to Barrick’s Climate Change Strategy, such as overseeing climate change risk and opportunity assessments, monitoring progress against GHG emissions targets, and providing guidance on external disclosures. Further to the specific focus of the Climate Change Committee, the weekly BPR allows for the discussion of opportunities and risks that may help or hinder the Company from achieving its objectives, including climate-related risks (e.g., spring snow melts, hurricanes, flooding, and mud slides).

Climate change activities initiated in 2017 will continue into 2018 and beyond. Site-level climate-related risks and mitigation plans will be reviewed in the context of the company-wide risk assessment, and site-level plans to reduce energy and GHG emissions will be strengthened. We will continue to enhance our climate-related disclosure according to the TCFD recommendations.

Overall, based on the groundwork completed in 2017, Barrick is building resilience to withstand the potential impacts of climate change and leverage potential opportunities as the global economy transitions to a low carbon future.