Luke Mackle


Economist and Policy Analyst
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Luke Mackle is an economist and policy analyst with the OECD Sustainable Infrastructure Programme in Asia (SIPA), where he supports the governments of Central Asia with the development and implementation of their industrial decarbonisation policy agendas. After spending several years working on investment and competitiveness related-issues throughout much of the FSU, including in the context of the mining sector, Luke became increasingly specialised in policies for raising the contribution of science, technology to addressing the climate transition in both OECD and non-OECD contexts; in the OECD context, this has involved co-leading the OECD Innovation Policy Review of Germany, while closer to the Central Asia region it has involved developing both technology-specific approaches to industrial decarbonisation, for example supporting the Government of Mongolia with the development of a national strategy for renewable hydrogen, and more technology-neutral approaches to similar challenges in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Luke holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Glasgow, and is fluent in Russian and French.

Plenary Session 2
19 June 2024 / 11:30 - 13:00 | Grand Ballroom

Aligning the growth of mining in Central Asia with low carbon outcomes

As elsewhere, the mining sector in Central Asia is facing two interlinking challenges in the context of the climate transition. On the one hand, there is a need for it to grow, and to grow quickly. Demand for the materials necessary for global decarbonisation - many of which Central Asian countries have in abundance - will increase rapidly in the coming decades. How then can governments and investors ensure that this economically important industrial sector that is so integral to achieving global decarbonisation does not lead to detrimental environmental and climate impacts at the local level? On the other hand, the mining sector itself is particularly hard-to-abate, and the decarbonisation of mining value chains requires technological solutions that are both well established and others at a very low level of commercial readiness. In one sense this is a challenge, particularly where the framework conditions are not conducive to adopting and diffusing low-carbon technology options in industry. Yet, at the same time, it may well be an opportunity, since an expanding mining sector may constitute one of the first markets for low-carbon industrial technologies, such as renewable hydrogen, in the region.

Ensuring that the mining industry in Central Asia can both play a role in achieving international ambitions whilst being coherent with local climate commitments - many of the countries in Central Asia having explicit commitments to reduce the carbon footprint of their industrial sectors - will require governments to align their plans for mining expansion with low-carbon outcomes, which is at the heart of SIPA work in the region.