Net Zero Heavy Industry

Heavy industries, mining in particular, have much to lose, gain, and contribute in the transition to Net Zero. On the one hand, decarbonization efforts may be costly at first, but as the world heads towards net zero, mining will play a key role in sourcing the materials needed for a post carbon transition, and achieving Net Zero in the mining industry will be necessary to meet the target on a global scale. A 2015 CDP report showed that half of worldwide industrial greenhouse gas emissions could be traced back to 50 companies, including the top three mining companies, BHP, Rio Tinto and Glencore. 


Research from the Rocky Mountain Institute has demonstrated a pathway for decarbonizing the mining industry. The world’s first all electric mine opened last year and the world’s first all-renewable and electric mine opens July 2020 demonstrating a viable pathway for decarbonizing the operations of the mining industry without offsetting for direct and energy sourced emissions. 

Existing Efforts to achieve net zero in Heavy Industries:

BHP has committed to net zero within scope 1 and 2 emissions. Both BHP and Rio Tinto are responsible for significant scope 3 emissions, selling steel and heavy materials to china. Rio Tinto has no Net Zero target as of yet, committing instead to “substantial decarbonization by 2030”.   Glencore, whose CEO has criticised BP’s Net Zero announcement for touting imprecise targets, has no target, despite committing to capping coal.