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February 19, 2020

Glencore predicts decreased carbon emissions by 2035

British-Swiss mining company Glencore has predicted a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 as its coal resources deplete over time, but the company will not set itself climate targets.

By Matthew Hall

British-Swiss mining company Glencore has predicted a 30% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 as its coal resources deplete over time, but the company will not set itself climate targets.

In February 2019 the company set out a commitment to the objectives of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, which set out efforts to limit the global temperature increase this century to 1.5° C. The company set out a “Paris-consistent” strategy in 2019, pledging more transparency in its fossil fuel investments.

Glencore said in a statement that it expects its carbon emissions to drop largely due to depletion of the company’s coal resource base in Colombia, with smaller-scale reductions in South Africa and Australia also contributing. Glencore expects its Colombian coal operations to have closed by 2035.

Glencore is yet to set firm targets for its carbon footprint, and company CEO Ivan Glasberg described targets to become “net-zero” companies by 2050 as “wishy-washy ideas” because 2050 is a long way off.

The company has, however, cut its direct emissions and the emissions produced from its operations by 9.7% since 2016, including through the use of renewable energy sources. Glencore initially pledged to cut these emissions by 5% in 2017.

Glencore’s capital expenditure in 2019 was weighted towards energy transition materials including copper, cobalt and nickel. The company reported a drop in annual profits for 2019 due to lower commodity prices, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation falling 26% to $11.6bn in the year to December.

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