Mining

ICMM members collectivity commit to net zero by 2050

ICMM members collectivity commit to net zero by 2050
Mining News Pro - Members of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) have committed to a goal of net zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
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This landmark commitment was made in an open letter signed by the CEOs of ICMM company members.

ICMM CEO Rohitesh Dhawan on October 5 said that, as the suppliers of the minerals and metals that are critical to decarbonisation and sustainable development, “[the industry] has a particular responsibility to minimise the impact of operations on the environment”.

Speaking with one voice, representing about one-third of the global mining and metals industry, emissions reductions at a significant scale are to be expected.

“ICMM members have and will continue to set meaningful short and/or medium-term targets to build clear pathways to achieving this goal, while also accelerating action on addressing Scope 3 emissions and enhancing disclosure,” Dhawan said.

The ICMM also encouraged other mining and metals companies, suppliers and customers to decarbonise commodity value chains so that climate action can be collectively accelerated in the wider industry.

Although individual decarbonisation targets, in some cases, go beyond the ICMM’s collective commitment, the commitment from ICMM member companies represents a joint ambition.

“The rate and nature of the ultimate decline in emissions will vary across the different commodities and geographies represented by our diverse membership. Yet our approach to individually setting and meeting targets will be consistent and include the following, no later than the end of 2023, where these do not already exist,” said Dhawan.

These commitments are additional to and have been incorporated into an update of the ICMM Climate Change Position Statement, which had several pre-existing commitments on performance and disclosure.

Action on climate change is an integral part of the ICMM’s Mining Principles, representing the comprehensive commitment to a responsible mining and metals industry.

MINERS' RESPONSE
In separate statements on October 5, miners Barrick Gold, Gold Fields and PJSC Polyus endorsed the ICMM's collective action on climate change.

"Reducing emissions to counter the causes of climate change requires strong collective action by the mining industry," said Barrick president and CE Mark Bristow.

He added that the collective commitment "represented an integrated approach that struck the right balance between environmental, social and economic needs".

Barrick is a member of the ICMM and its Climate Change Advisory Group.

Barrick already has a clear scientifically based emissions reduction roadmap which targets a 30% cut by 2030 against its 2018 baseline and a net-zero outcome by 2050, in line with the ICMM’s targets.

The company’s group sustainability executive Grant Beringer said a series of carbon-reducing initiatives was already being implemented across Barrick’s global operations.

At Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), which is operated and majority-owned by Barrick, reducing initiatives include projects such as the construction of a new solar power plant and the conversion of the TS power plant from coal to natural gas. These projects will support NGM’s transition from coal power to a dual energy solution which will reduce the complex’s carbon emissions by as much as 50%.

Gold Fields CEO Chris Griffith, meanwhile, said the collective commitment was critical as "climate change is the defining societal issue of our time".

"As humankind we must, therefore, act collectively and decisively to turn around the global warming trajectory, which is currently well in excess of 2 ˚C, before it’s too late,” he said.

Gold Fields will continue to invest in large-scale renewable energy projects at its operations, as it has done at Agnew and Granny Smith, in Australia, as well as the projects it has under way at Gruyere, in Australia, at South Deep, in South Africa, and at its Salares Norte project, in Chile.

“These projects form part of our journey to radically reduce our Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions at all our operations by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050, if not earlier,” Griffith said.

Earlier this year, Gold Fields released its high-level environmental, social and governance (ESG) priorities, including on climate change, accompanied by wide-ranging objectives and strategic intents.

These high-level priorities and goals will be incorporated in an ESG Charter for Gold Fields, with detailed 2030 targets to be released in December this year.

PJSC Polyus, meanwhile, said the open letter from ICMM members reflects a "collective recognition that we need to make substantive commitments on climate change".

CEO Pavel Grachev said "there is huge potential in the mining industry to improve efficiencies and introduce technologies that could substantially reduce our contribution to global greenhouse-gas emissions. As an industry, we are in a position to make a meaningful difference for a more sustainable future for everyone, and collaboration is critical".

Addressing climate change is a strategic priority for Polyus, which already covers 100% of its electricity consumption with renewable sources and continue to support the development of the renewable energy sector in Russia.


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