MAC: Mines and Communities

Rio Tinto won't come clean on Type Three emissions

Published by MAC on 2019-03-19
Source: mining.com (2019-03-18)

Rio Tinto was,  until recently, solicitous - even pioneering - in its stated mission to secure an ethical "chain of custody" for the metals and materials it produces

It was an endeavour not to allow any easy escape for those who buy its products and misuse them - such as by increasing the burden of global greenhouse gas emissions, or utilising child labour.

However, the company has clearly now abandoned this principle.

It's trying to persuade shareholders, at its forthcoming AGM. to allow so-called  Type Three' emissions  to continue regardless [see also: Bloomberg blasts Rio Tinto, BHP, and others]

Rio Tinto rejects push by activist shareholders to reveal emission targets

Cecilia Jamasmie

mining.com

18 March 2109.

Rio Tinto, the world’s second largest miner, is recommending shareholders to vote against a resolution requiring the company to release its direct emissions details and strategies on how its greenhouse gas emissions and those of its customers can be cut.

In a letter from chairman Simon Thompson, Rio urged investors to vote against the proposed rule change that would have the miner to put in place transition plans to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).

"Options exist for the reduction of these emissions, but the speed, economic viability and ultimate deployment of these technologies lie within the control of our customers, not Rio Tinto  said chairman Thompson."

Those proposala would include short-, medium- and long-term targets to reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions. The company would also have to set detailed strategies to meet the targets in each annual report starting from 2020, according to the tabled resolution.

Scope 1 emissions refer to direct emissions from company's activities, Scope 2 emissions are indirect such as from purchased power. Scope 3 emissions are those created by buyers of a company's product. In Rio’s case, Thompson wrote, Scope 3 are "primarily the emissions of our customers, mainly steel makers in China.”

While the company is already undertaking detailed work on an asset-by-asset basis to replace current Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction targets (which expire in 2020), Rio noted that managing the third kind was difficult because it had “very limited control” over them.

"Options exist for the reduction of these emissions, but the speed, economic viability and ultimate deployment of these technologies lie within the control of our customers, not Rio Tinto," Thompson said.

Rio Tinto, which released its own climate change report last month, has reduced its emissions-intensity footprint by almost 30% since 2008, which puts the company on track to beat its 2020 targets. Renewable energy continues to be adopted and it is now used to produce almost three-quarters of the electricity the miner uses.

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