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Rio Tinto, China Baowu, Tsinghua U sign MOU to explore improving environmental performance across steel value chain

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Baowu Steel Group (China’s largest steel producer) and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain.

The China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) invited the Parties to sign the MOU at its China International Steel and Raw Materials Conference held in Qingdao.

The MOU will enable the formation of a joint working group tasked with identifying a pathway to support the goal of reducing carbon emissions across the entire steel value chain, which accounts for between seven and nine per cent of the world’s carbon emissions.

The working group will establish a joint action plan on how to best utilize the parties’ complementary strengths in research and development, technologies, processes, equipment, logistics, industry coordination and policy advisory capacities to combat climate change and improve environmental performance.

China Baowu is committed to ecological and sustainable development. We will promote sustainable production through intelligent manufacturing. We want to make a difference to the iron and steel ecosystem by developing greener factories and enterprises to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable steel industry.

China Baowu looks forward to exploring low-carbon metallurgical innovation with Rio Tinto and Tsinghua University, and building a low-carbon industrial value chain. We hope to jointly address climate challenges with our partners, and create a model of harmonious coexistence between cities and steel mills.

—China Baowu chairman, Chen Derong

Rio Tinto has reduced its emissions footprint by more than 30% since 2008. In 2015, in support of the Paris Agreement, it committed to substantial long-term decarbonization by 2050. In 2018, it completed the divestment of its coal assets, becoming the only major mining company not producing fossil fuels.

Almost 70% of the electricity used across its business is from low-carbon renewable energy. In 2018, Rio Tinto announced a pioneering new technology partnership with Alcoa, with support from Apple and the governments of Canada and Québec, to further develop carbon-free aluminium smelting technology—an industry first.


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