The world’s largest mining companies declare zero carbon emissions by 2050

06 October 2021 11:10

The world’s leading mining companies are committed to achieving zero net direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, the International Council of Mines and Metals (ICMM) said.

“The collective commitment of ICMM members to reduce emissions of one (direct) and two (indirect) greenhouse gases by 2050 is a turning point in our history,” said CEO Rohitesh Dhavan in an open letter signed by 28 executives from the world’s largest companies. miners.

The announcement comes ahead of next month’s UN climate meeting, which aims to achieve more ambitious climate action by the nearly 200 countries that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb global warming.

Many mining companies, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP, have already pledged to reduce direct and indirect emissions to zero by 2050 under pressure from environmental activists and shareholders.

However, the collective commitment “represents a joint commitment by companies that make up a third of the world’s mining and metals industry,” the ICMM said in a statement.

Its 28 members, who operate at 650 sites in 50 countries, will report annually on their decarbonization progress.

The mining industry faces a “decarbonization challenge” as the sector must reduce emissions from the production of metals such as nickel and copper, which are vital to a low-carbon economy, said Konrad von Szczepanski, managing director and partner of the Boston Consulting Group.

Direct and indirect emissions will be reduced by accelerating the use of renewable energy sources and reducing or eliminating the use of diesel trucks, Dhawan told Reuters.

Targets for the third volume of emissions, which includes emissions from customers converting iron ore to steel, should be set “if not by the end of 2023, then as soon as possible”.

The technology for the production of carbon-free steel has not yet been developed.

Glencore, the world’s largest supplier of maritime thermal coal, pursued a third volume target, mainly by collapsing its coal mines.

ICMM members, which include Barrick Gold and Alcoa, collectively cut emissions by 6% between 2016 and 2018, Dhawan said.

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06 October 2021 11:10