Rio Tinto published its climate change report on Thursday 7 March, which shows how the company plans to contribute to and leverage the transition to a low carbon future.
The report uses recommendations from the task force on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD) as a framework to assess the potential risks and opportunities of climate change and related policies.
Rio Tinto chief executive officer J-S Jacques says, “Given our decision to strengthen our business and exit coal, we are now the only major mining company with a fossil-fuel-free portfolio, which means we are well-positioned to contribute to a low-carbon future. The materials we produce, from infinitely recyclable aluminium to copper used in electrification to our higher-grade iron ore product, all play a part in the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Rio Tinto has publicly acknowledged the reality of climate change since 2005, signed the Paris Pledge in support of the ambition and commitments set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015 and contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Andrew Gray, director ESG and Stewardship, AustralianSuper and member, Climate Action 100+, says, “Last year Rio Tinto supported the recommendations of the TCFD and we welcome their first report under this structure. 2018 saw the company undertake technological breakthroughs in materials that have a key role in the low carbon transition. We are also encouraged that Rio Tinto has joined the Energy Transitions Commission which takes a multi-sector approach to hard-to-abate sectors like steel.”
James Bevan, CIO at charity specialist CCLA, says, “2018 saw the completion of Rio Tinto’s strategic exit from coal. Over time the company will face other complex portfolio and operational choices, so it is useful to see initial quantification of the impact of the low carbon transition on different commodities. We look forward to reviewing Rio Tinto’s new targets and metrics for the 2020s, a critical part of the TCFD recommendations and investors’ collective Climate Action 100+ request for Paris alignment.”
Climate risks and opportunities have formed part of Rio Tinto’s strategic thinking for more than two decades. The company has outlined that it will be active in four key areas:
- Supply essential metals and minerals for the transition to a low-carbon economy.
2. Reduce emissions from its own footprint.
3. Identify and assess physical risk exposures.
4. Partner to advance climate goals.