Legal mines in Brazil may contribute to 5% of global emissions without offsetting
Legal mines in Brazil may contribute to 5% of global emissions if left active, a paper proposing an offset for these mines has revealed.
The geolocation of mine sites and carbon stock datasets have been combined in the paper published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, by researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture.
They estimate that if all legal active mining sites in Brazil are exploited over the next few decades, 2.55Gt of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) will be emitted due to the loss of vegetation (0.87Gt CO2eq) and soil (1.68 Gt CO2eq).
The paper proposes an offset to combat the problem in the form of constructing soils (Technosols) from mine and other wastes for mine reclamation.
Their estimation shows that this strategy could potentially offset up to 60% (1.00 Gt CO2eq) of soil-related CO2 emissions.
The paper claims that when constructed with suitable parent materials, Technosols can also restore important soil-related ecosystem services while improving waste management.