The purpose of the study was to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the corporate sectors’ ability to operate within a carbon constrained society through the institutionalisation of effective corporate governance principles and practices. The research attempted to answer the question: To what extent and under what circumstances should corporate governance influence corporate response to climate change? Climate change risks impact on long-term sustainability of businesses and the competitiveness of some nations. The level of impact of climate change risk to a company is subject to a number of factors, including the nature of its business, the impact of local and international legislation, and the company’s ability to respond to climate change. South Africa is not isolated from climate change risks. Its mining sector is vulnerable to climate change because it is an energy intense sector, and coal is particularly vulnerable to carbon constrain legislation. The study was based on a qualitative research methodology where secondary data were sourced from company documents. The study showed that, on average, mining companies need to improve their climate change corporate governance mechanisms and practices. It was also shown that some of the companies have good systems in place.