20 October 2021
Rio Tinto this afternoon announced improved climate commitments, including:
- Targets to reduce scope 1 & 2 emissions by 50% by 2030, and 15% by 2025 (from 2018 baseline of 32.6 Mt CO2 equivalent)
- ~$7.5 billion in capital expenditure to decarbonise the company’s assets
Reacting to Rio’s announcement, Market Forces Asset Management Campaigner Will van de Pol said:
“Rio Tinto’s updated scope 1 and 2 emission reduction targets represent an important step forward from a company whose previous targets were woefully inadequate.”
“The updated 2030 target also puts BHP’s paltry 30% reduction into context, and the vast majority of BHP shareholders who rubber stamped that company’s climate plan last week should hang their heads in shame.”
“However, Rio’s new targets still only address 6% of the company’s overall emissions profile, with emissions generated by steelmaking customers processing Rio’s iron ore dwarfing the company’s operational emissions.”
“While today’s announcement provided some further commentary on Rio exploring options to decarbonise the steelmaking and aluminium smelting, these efforts are still not backed up by measurable, Paris-aligned targets.”
“Investors cannot be satisfied with Rio Tinto’s climate strategy until the company produces clear Paris-aligned strategies and targets to manage the gargantuan climate risk embedded in its scope 3 emissions.”
“Rival iron ore producer Fortescue has committed to reaching net zero scope 3 emissions by 2040, demonstrating what’s possible if Rio adopts the necessary ambition to fully decarbonise its business model.”
A Market Forces-coordinated shareholder resolution calling for improved, Paris-aligned emission reduction targets received 99% of investor support at Rio Tinto’s May AGM.
A further resolution calling for Rio Tinto to manage the risk posed by its scope 3 emissions has been lodged for next year’s AGM.