Rio Tinto to Capitalize $1 Billion to Meet Fresh Climate Change Targets

“For Rio Tinto, it is about setting a long-term ambition and establishing stretching, but achievable targets, as we have done for 2030 and 2050. We are fully committed to meeting that challenge and being part of the solution”

February 27, 2020. By News Bureau

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Rio Tinto has announced plans to invest around $1 billion over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets and a company objective for net-zero emissions from operations by 2050.

The new targets for 2030 are:

  • A further 30 percent reduction in its emissions intensity from 2018 levels
  • A further 15 percent reduction in its absolute emissions from 2018 levels
  • Under these targets, Rio Tinto’s overall growth between now and 2030 will be carbon neutral.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “climate change is a global challenge and will require action across nations, across industries and by society at large. New technologies, partnerships and effective government policies will be key in achieving this goal but today there is no clear pathway for the world to get to net zero emissions by 2050.

“For Rio Tinto, it is about setting a long-term ambition and establishing stretching, but achievable targets, as we have done for 2030 and 2050. We are fully committed to meeting that challenge and being part of the solution”.

The firm plans to achieve its ambition of net-zero emissions by 2050 through action in four areas:

1. Produce materials essential for a low-carbon future: The production of aluminium, copper and high-grade iron ore will play a part in the transition to a low carbon economy.

2. Reduce the carbon footprint of operations: the firm is taking steps to enhance productivity and efficiency, as well as exploring alternative sources of energy and developing pathways to reduce emissions. In February 2020, the firm announced a USD 100 million investment in a new solar plant at the Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, Australia, as well as a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara power network.

3. Partner to reduce the carbon footprint across the value chain: the company is working on innovative partnerships to stimulate action with customers and other parties across the value chain. In September 2019, it launched a pioneering initiative in the steel industry.

4. Enhance resilience to physical climate risks: it considers climate-related risks over the life of its operations from design to closure and beyond. The impact of extreme weather events is already being seen at many sites and work is underway to assess the probability and potential impact of these risks in the future. Seventy-six percent of electricity consumption at managed operations is from renewable energy and most of the operations have significantly lower carbon intensities than sector averages.

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