Miners face up to climate challenge

Miners face up to climate challenge

Tackling ‘Scope 3’ emissions produced when customers burn coal will be vital to win investment

The world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal makes for an unlikely eco-champion. Yet that is how Glencore is seeking to position itself.

The London-listed company stole a march on its rivals in December with new targets that will make it the first miner to be fully aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change.

By 2050 Glencore is aiming to be carbon neutral — including the carbon dioxide generated when customers burn or process its raw materials. 

These “Scope 3” emissions are emerging as a huge challenge for the industry, particularly miners that produce commodities for hard-to-abate sectors such as steelmaking, which accounts alone for about 7 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.