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Australia's biggest coal mining company to freeze production

Date: 25-Feb-19
Author: Liam Taylor

More and more mining companies are announcing their intentions to move away from coal in their business. © Liam Taylor

More and more mining companies are announcing their intentions to move away from coal in their business.

Commodities trader Glencore has announced they will limit coal production at current levels and freeze new projects for environmental reasons following internal pressure from investors. The announcement reflects a commitment to aligning its business and investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement, which include achieving zero emissions by the second half of the century.

The Swiss firm laid out plans to improve its environmental record after the Church of England and a number of large Australian superannuation funds including AustralianSuper and Cbus had voiced their concerns over the company’s environmental impact. Carlota Garcia-Manas, senior investment stewardship analyst at the Church of England’s endowment fund, said the move reflected a global shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuel.

“The simple truth is that in the absence of commercially viable carbon capture and storage, coal has no long term future in the energy mix,” Garcia-Manas said in a statement.

“Glencore’s commitments on capital investment and expenditure start to provide assurance to investors increasingly focused on climate-related risks and opportunities.”

In committing to limit coal production, Glencore joined other global energy giants that have moved to distance themselves from coal. Last year Rio Tinto sold the last of its remaining coal assets while BHP’s latest statement latest economic and commodity outlook report noted that even conservative estimates expect coal to “lose competitiveness” with renewables within the next decade.

In 2018 Glencore produced almost 130 million tonnes of coal, making it Australia’s biggest coal mining company. As well as freezing coal production at current capacity, Glencore will also be reviewing its membership of trade bodies that may be undermining the aims of the Paris Agreement.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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