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Conference Hub: "Turning Down the Heat: Can We Mine Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis?"

Register now and join us in Ottawa, Canada, on November 14-15, 2019!MiningWatch 20 years

With the participation of (preliminary list):

  • Dianne Saxe, Former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (Canada)
  • Julie Gelfand (TBC), Former federal Commissioner for the Environment & Sustainable Development (Canada)
  • Mark Z. Jacobson, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University and lead author of 100% Renewable Energy Roadmaps for 139 Countries (USA)
  • Isadore Day, Serpent River First Nation, Former Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Ontario, Founder of Bimaadzwin (Canada)
  • Elsa Dominish, Senior Researcher at University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, co-author of Responsible Minerals Sourcing for Renewable Energy (Australia)
  • John Drexhage, World Bank, lead author of The Growing Role Minerals and Metals for a Low Carbon Future (Canada)
  • Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network (Canada)
  • Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (TBC), Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action Network (Canada / USA)
  • Gavin Mudd, Associate Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, and Chair, Mineral Policy Institute; co-author of The energy-materials nexus: the case of metals (Australia)
  • Cynthia Morinville, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto, researcher on e-waste & scrap recycling economies in Ghana and India
  • Stephanie Cairns, Director, Circular Economy, Smart Prosperity Institute (Canada)
  • Geoff McCarney, Research Director, Smart Prosperity Institute (Canada)
  • Alan Young, Director, Materials Efficiency Research Group and Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (Canada)
  • Josh Lepawsky, Professor at Memorial University, Author of Worlding Electronic Waste (Canada)
  • Sandra Cossart, Director, Sherpa, European Human Rights Due Diligence Laws & Regulations (France/Europe)
  • Jonathan Mesulam, Director, West Coast Development Foundation and Deep Sea Mining Campaign (Papua New Guinea)
  • Verna Power, Lake Babine First Nation, co-founder of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) (Canada)
  • Donna Ashamock, Cree Nation Educator & Community Organizer, Co-chair of MiningWatch Canada
  • Joan Kuyek, Community Organizer, Co-founder of MiningWatch Canada, Author of Unearthing Justice (Canada)
  • Albert Dumont, Algonquin Traditional Teacher from Kitigan Zibi
    • As well as:

      • Reports from the Lithium Triangle in Latin America and the Pre-COP UN Climate Conference in Chile (Latin America)
      • Community responses to lithium, graphite, rare earths, uranium mining in Canada 
      • Cobalt mining issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC - Africa)

      and more…

      Why are we doing this?

      The Problem

      There is an urgent imperative to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep global warming from getting worse than what is already “locked in.” But many current projections for a ‘decarbonised’ energy economy require massive amounts of metals to be able to generate, store, and transmit electricity.

      Improved efficiency, recycling, and new technologies will help meet that demand, but in many cases this also means massive increases in mining for increasingly scarce metals and minerals, pushing mining into more remote and fragile places – even including the ocean floor – and into greater conflict with communities and greater destruction of fresh water and biodiversity.

      The challenge, therefore, is how to respond to the climate crisis without destroying more of the planet we are trying to save – to reduce the need for more mining, limit and manage its impacts, and to the extent possible, repair the damage it has already done to communities and ecosystems.

      The Conference: How Can We Save the Climate Without Wrecking the Planet?

      Over the course of two days, we will explore the implications of this extractive rush for communities that are already struggling with the impacts of mining, the need for better regulation of mining activity, and the potential for reducing the demand for new mined metals and minerals through improved efficiency and recycling, policies that can account for the full costs of raw metals, as well as larger-scale changes in transportation, production, trade, and consumption.We will be convening representatives from communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, affected by mining on the front lines of “energy metals” extraction from Canada and around the world, researchers and experts on materials efficiency, technology, and energy transition, as well as activists and leaders in the struggle to address the climate crisis. We will map out emerging trends, challenges, and conflicts, and work to identify solutions and strategies to implement them.

      For more information:

      • Jamie Kneen, Communications & Strategy, cell (613) 761-2273, 
      • Ugo Lapointe, Canada Program Coordinator, cell (514) 708-0134,
      • For logistics, travel, lodging, sponsorship, payment/receipt, please contact Diana Martin, cell (613) 276-3760

      Conference details

      Cost & Registration – see below

      Hotel, Travel & Logistics

      The conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 Montcalm St., Gatineau, QC +1 (819) 778-3880, just across the Ottawa River by the Chaudière Bridge (Booth Street). Rooms are available now at a reduced price (under “MiningWatch Canada”). From the airport, you can take a taxi, bus, or train (more information to come about possible shuttles). 

      Eco-Conference & Carbon Credits

      We are working hard at minimizing the environmental footprint of our conference through reducing wastes and encouraging our participants to travel by buses, trains, or shared driving. For those flying, our colleagues from the Pact Movement in Quebec encourage carbon reduction projects by purchasing credits from one of the following organizations: Carbon Boreal, Planetair, SolutionsWill, Arbre-Evolution (French only), Carbon Scol’ERE (French only). We will also be web-streaming as much of the proceedings as possible; details will be posted as soon as they are confirmed. 


        We welcome sponsorships from any individual, institution, or organisation, but we cannot accept contributions from mining companies (our policy).

        • "Earth" sponsors ($1000) will receive recognition in the conference materials and two conference passes.
        • "Air" sponsors ($2000) will receive recognition in the conference materials (with your logo) and three conference passes.
        • "Water" sponsors ($4000 or more) will receive special mention, recognition in the conference materials (with your logo), choice of gift, and four conference passes.

        Please contact us if you are interested in sponsorships (Diana Martin at cell (613) 276-3760 or!


        We are expecting 150 participants from various sectors, backgrounds, and regions. The registration fee is $250 for non-profits ($340 for government/private sector), which includes access to all presentations, the evening reception on November 14, lunch and snacks for both days (vegan options available), and simultaneous French-English translation. There are a limited number of spaces available at a reduced price of $85 for students, fixed income people, and community organizations with a limited budget (contact us). The evening reception on November 14 is also open to people not participating in the conference at a cost of $30 (we will be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of MiningWatch Canada!).