Mining giants urged to ramp up emissions reduction efforts


Only two of the 10 largest mining companies are on track to limit climate change to two degrees Celsius, according to research data from the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI).

The Paris Agreement aims to keep a global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Freeport and Grupo Mexico are the two companies that present “such a low emissions intensity” that they are already aligned with the 2050 benchmarks, according to TPI.

Its research shows that Glencore and Anglo American are within the two degrees Celsius benchmark, but their emissions pathways are too flat to keep them in alignment by 2050.

“Glencore’s plans to cut scope three emissions by around 30 per cent by 2035 are promising, but do not include its marketing activities,” TPI stated.

“Stated net zero ambitions from BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale only cover operational emissions, typically just 6 per cent of the emissions TPI assess.

“As a result, these companies are actually further away from alignment in 2050 than they are today.”

TPI co-chair Adam Matthews, however, acknowledged that the sector had made significant progress over the last six months, with Rio Tinto, Vale and Glencore announcing more ambitions emissions targets and BHP considering the role of scope three emissions in their future approach.

“Anglo American are currently below the benchmark but without further action are due to become unaligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement,” Matthews said.

TPI also noted that Fortescue Metals Group and South32 had yet to set credible long-term targets.

The two companies need to cut their carbon intensity by nearly 80 per cent by 2050 to claim alignment with two degrees Celsius, TPI stated.

TPI is a global initiative that was established in 2017 to assess companies’ preparedness for the transition to a low-carbon economy. It is backed by over 60 investors, with over $US18 trillion ($28 trillion) of combined assets under management or advice.

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