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Rio Tinto makes billion dollar pledge to go carbon neutral

2 March 2020 at 4:40 pm
Luke Michael
The company is investing $1.5 billion to reduce its carbon footprint

Luke Michael | 2 March 2020 at 4:40 pm


Rio Tinto makes billion dollar pledge to go carbon neutral
2 March 2020 at 4:40 pm

The company is investing $1.5 billion to reduce its carbon footprint

Rio Tinto has joined the growing list of businesses promising to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The mining giant announced last week it was investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to achieve its new climate change targets.

As well as pledging to go carbon neutral by 2050, Rio Tinto also promised to cut emissions intensity by 30 per cent and absolute emissions by 15 per cent (from 2018 levels) by 2030.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said climate change was a global challenge and required action across nations, across industries and by society at large.

He said his company was fully committed to meeting that challenge and being part of the solution.

“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,” Jacques said.

“The ambition is clear but the pathway is not and the challenge for the world, and for the resources industry, is to continue the focus on poverty reduction and wealth creation, while delivering climate action.

“This will require complex trade-offs which means we all need to face up to some challenging decisions and have an honest conversation.”

Rio Tinto’s announcement follows a pledge in December by 177 companies – representing over 5.8 million employees in 36 countries ­– to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

Fellow mining giant BHP also pledged to go net zero by 2050 last July, committing $580 million to develop technologies to cut emissions from its own operations and from the companies using its products such as coal, iron ore and gas.

Rio Tinto plans to achieve its net-zero ambitions by exploring alternative sources of energy, with the company investing $100 million into a new solar plant at the Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara.

It will also work towards the target by producing materials essential for a low-carbon future such as aluminum and copper, and partnering with other industries to reduce the carbon footprint across its operations chain. 

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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