MINER and minerals exporter Rio Tinto has announced plans for net zero emissions by 2050, as part of $1bn it plans to invest as part of its new climate change targets.

The new targets for 2030 are:

  • A further 30% reduction in Rio Tinto’s emissions intensity from 2018 levels
  • A further 15% reduction in Rio Tinto’s absolute emissions from 2018 levels.

Under these targets, Rio Tinto’s overall growth between now and 2030 aims to be carbon neutral.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said climate change was a global challenge.

“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,” he said.

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“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 second climate report sets out how Rio Tinto 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.

2. Reduce the carbon footprint of operations.

3. Partner to reduce the carbon footprint across the value chain.

4. Enhance resilience to physical climate risks.

“Rio Tinto considers climate-related risks over the life of its operations from design to closure and beyond,” the company stated.

“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 per cent 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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