Miners not doing enough to meet UN targets on greenhouse gas emissions

THE mining sector is not doing enough to meet the United Nations’ goals in limiting global climate warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence (BI).

Only 11 out of 46 metal and mining companies analysed by BI have carbon-reduction targets that match levels needed for the United Nations targets, said Bloomberg News. The group includes Anglo American and Newmont Mining, a gold producer.

However, Kumba Iron Ore – a 70%-owned subsidiary of Anglo American – ranks third on BI’s scale ahead of mining giant BHP. Another iron ore producer, Fortescue Metals, tops the ranking.

The BI ranking measures the companies on reduction trends, current and future carbon-dioxide intensity, planned cuts and positioning to the end of the decade compared to a temperature-aligned benchmark, using data through April 1, said Bloomberg News.

Concern regarding greenhouse gas emissions was kicked up a notch following the publication on August 9 of a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, described by Bloomberg News as ‘epochral’.

The report blamed the globe’s rising average temperatures on humans, and that without drastic measures, an average increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius in global warming was inevitable within two decades.

The document is “a code red for humanity,” said Bloomberg News citing Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations. “This report must sound the death knell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy our planet,” Guterres was quoted as saying.

The report falls about two months before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) scheduled for October 31.