The mining giant Rio Tinto has signed an agreement with its largest customer of China iron ore, China Baowu Steel Group, to develop ways to reduce the carbon emissions pumped into the atmosphere as part of the production process of the # 39. ;steel.
The partnership, signed on Wednesday, is an attempt by Rio Tinto to contain its "scope 3" emissions – those made by its customers – and follows its rival's commitment, BHP, to spend $ 400 million as part a plan to tackle the climate crisis.
He arrives despite a campaign by the Morrison government to get big business to shut down social issues like the environment and limit his campaigns to economic territory, including corporate tax cuts.
Coal-based steel mills are a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions, which create around 1.8 tons of carbon emissions per ton of steel and represent between 7% and 9% of the global total.
It is possible to reduce emissions by replacing the hydrogen that was produced using renewable energy for metallurgical coal, but the technology is not yet in commercial use.
However, it is understood that the collaboration between Rio Tinto and China Baowu, which also includes Tsinghua University, will also cover emissions from shipping.
Maritime transport represents a low load for companies that wish to improve their environmental credentials because emissions can be rapidly reduced by changing ships using bunker fuel – heavy carbon-intensive oil – for natural gas.
The China Baowu Agreement is Rio Tinto's second project that attacks scope 3 emissions. Last year, the company entered into an agreement with the Canadian government, Alcoa and Apple to develop a carbon-free method for the production of aluminum.
Steel producers around the world are under increasing pressure to curb their emissions.
In Europe, carbon prices have reduced steel mill profits, putting jobs at risk and forcing companies to look for alternatives to coal to save on emissions costs.
Both Rio Tinto and BHP said they wanted to drastically reduce their emissions, but so far the strong language was not enough to satisfy activists.
Rio Tinto claims to support the Paris international agreement, designed to keep the global temperature rise below 2 ° C, and aims at "substantial decarbonisation" of all its activity by 2050.
The managing director of Rio Tinto, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, stated that the China Baowu agreement "will bring together solutions to help manage the carbon footprint of the steel industry and improve its performance environmental.
"The materials we produce have an important role to play in the transition to a low-carbon future and we are committed to working with our customers and others to find the most sustainable ways to produce, process and market them," he said.