Rio Tinto announces renewables plan for Australia

Aerial photo of Rio Tinto's Yarwun Alumina Refinery (hydrogen pilot)
Rio Tinto's Yarwun Alumina Refinery

Mining giant Rio Tinto has outlined plans to decarbonise some of its Australian operations using renewable sources such as solar and wind. 

“Rio Tinto is outlining the actions being taken to strengthen the business and improve performance. It is also unveiling a longer-term strategy to ensure it thrives in a decarbonising world and continues to deliver attractive shareholder returns, in line with its policy,” the company said in a statement.

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“Governments are setting more ambitious targets and accelerating actions on climate change. Society at large is also demanding companies take more action to decarbonise. To meet the challenge, stay relevant and capture the opportunity Rio Tinto is raising its ambition and taking actions.”

In response, the mining giant has unveiled a new target to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030—more than tripling its previous target. A 15 per cent reduction in emissions is now targeted for 2025, five years earlier than previously. These targets are supported by around $7.5 billion of direct investments to lower emissions between 2022 and 2030.

In recognition of the broader carbon footprint of the commodities it produces, Rio Tinto will accelerate its investment in R&D and development of technologies that enable its customers to decarbonise. Working in partnership with governments, suppliers, customers, academia and others Rio Tinto will continue to develop technologies like ELYSIS for carbon-free aluminium and multiple pathways to produce green steel.

To meet additional demand created by the global drive to net zero emissions, Rio Tinto will prioritise growth capital in commodities vital for this transition with an ambition to double growth capex to about $3 billion a year from 2023.

Rio Tinto can decarbonise, pursue growth and continue to deliver attractive returns to shareholders due to its strong balance sheet, world-class assets and focus on capital discipline.

Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm said, “Rio Tinto is taking action to strengthen our business and improve our performance by unleashing the full potential of our people and assets, working in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders.

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“All our commodities are vital for the energy transition and continue to benefit from ongoing urbanisation. We have a clear pathway to decarbonise our business and are actively developing technologies that will enable our customers and our customers’ customers to decarbonise.

“We are able to do this, while continuing to provide attractive returns to our shareholders in line with our policy, because we have a strong balance sheet and world-class assets that deliver strong free cash flows through the cycle.”