Australian miner Fortescue unveils .2 billion carbon plan

Australian miner Fortescue unveils $6.2 billion carbon plan

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian iron ore mine Fortescue Metals Group on Tuesday announced a $6.2 billion plan to eliminate fossil fuels and carbon emissions from its operations by the end of the decade.

The world’s fourth largest iron ore producer expects to save $818 million a year from 2030 based on current prices of diesel, gas and carbon credits, Fortescue said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Most of the expenditure is planned for 2024-28. It includes an additional 2 to 3 gigawatts of renewable energy generation and battery storage, as well as a green mining fleet of trucks and trains.

The 2030 target of “true zero emissions to Earth” — no fossil fuels and with only temporary or eventual offsets — would avoid 3 million tons (3.3 million US metric tons) of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Fortescue is a member of the First Movers Coalition, a platform launched last year by the United States Department of State and the World Economic Forum for companies to leverage their purchasing power and supply chains to fuel early markets for innovative clean energy technologies.

Other large companies are also taking steps to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Last week, Samsung Electronics announced that it is moving away from fossil fuels and aiming to power its global operations completely with clean electricity by 2050.

Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest said Fortescue, based in Perth, Western Australia, was already benefiting financially from a decarbonisation policy that began two years ago.

The new decarbonization strategy has “set an example that a post-fossil fuel era is good commercial common sense,” Forrest said in a statement.

“There is no doubt that the energy landscape has changed dramatically in the past two years and this change has been accelerating since Russia invaded Ukraine,” Forrest said.

“Consistent with Fortescue’s disciplined approach to capital allocation, this investment in renewable energy and decarbonisation is expected to deliver attractive economic returns for our shareholders through energy cost savings and a sharp reduction in carbon offset purchases, along with lower risk-cost profile and improvement in asset integrity,” added Forrest.

Australia’s new centre-left Labor Party government has passed a law that sets a goal of cutting the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 42% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade.

Under the previous Conservative government, Australia had been branded a laggard on climate action against its target of cutting emissions by just 26%-28% by 2030.

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