Rio Tinto has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, supported by $1.5 billion worth of investments in climate-related projects over the next five years, after posting its largest profit in eight years.
- The world’s second-largest mining company’s 2019 underlying profit was more than $US10 billion
- As well as the net-zero 2050 target, Rio Tinto announced plans to spend $US1 billion on climate-related projects
- It also announced coronavirus could impact on its operations in coming months
Net-zero pledge follows BHP, Labor, UKIts pledge to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 comes after mining giant BHP last year confirmed its own net-zero target, while Labor leader Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared similar ambitions in recent months.
“We have a key role to play in enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy,” the company said.“We do this through our well-positioned portfolio of high-quality iron ore, copper and aluminium. “We do not mine coal or extract oil and gas, and 76 per cent of our electricity consumption at our managed operations is supplied by renewable energy.” Rio has set itself new targets for scope 1 and 2 emissions for its managed and non-managed operations — a 30 per cent reduction in emissions intensity by 2030 from 2018, and a 15 per cent reduction in absolute emissions by 2030 from 2018 levels. Speaking to shareholders on Wednesday, Rio chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques warned the coronavirus could impact on its operations in coming months, since Chinese steel mills were major customers and important supply chains could be disrupted. “We acknowledge that there will be some short-term volatility, but we are very well positioned,” he said.
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