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Fortescue abandons carbon offset scheme

22nd September 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major and green energy developer Fortescue will forgo buying carbon offsets from this financial year onwards.

The miner said in a statement on Friday that all funds allocated to carbon offsets will be diverted to Fortescue’s decarbonisation plan to achieve Real Zero by 2030, the equivalent of more than several hundred million dollars in the 2024 financial year.

Fortescue last year announced its costed Real Zero target at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and since then has achieved several key milestones towards eliminating terrestrial Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its Australian iron-ore operations by 2030.

“While Real Zero by 2030 is our long-term Scope 1 and 2 target, our short-term target is for our emissions to reach their peak by 2025/26 because of a new mine coming on board and then to significantly decline in 2027/28 as all of the green technology and renewable energy that we are investing in right now kicks in – achieving zero emissions by 2030,” Fortescue Metals CEO Dino Otranto said at the launch of Fortescue’s Break Up from Fossil Fuels campaign.

“We are the only heavy emitter in the world to stop purchasing voluntary offsets. We will focus our efforts on eliminating the million litres of diesel we use per year, rather than offsetting them.

“Our first battery electric haul truck is now on site as we prepare to replace our fleet with zero emission trucks and equipment with battery electric and green hydrogen models. We are also ramping up our renewable power on site to replace fossil fuel power with renewable electricity.”


Fortescue Energy CEO Mark Hutchinson said that Fortescue’s decision to lead during the climate crisis reflected the company’s commitment to our shareholders.

“For years we have been saying that voluntary offsets don’t work – they just pass the buck. We are here at UNGA as a heavy emitter that is saying no to a future of fossil fuels and yes to a better future for our company.” 

During the 2024 2025 financial years, Fortescue’s focus will be on completing its first 100 MW solar farm, starting construction of two 220kV additional transmission lines that will connect all its mines into an integrated electricity network, and achieving final investment decision on an additional three solar farms, representing a commitment to construct an additional more than 1GW of solar capacity.

The miner is also aiming to take a final investment decision on its large-scale wind farm, and invest an additional several hundred million into design and development of zero emissions solutions required for its decarbonisation.  This investment will include funding for Fortescue’s battery electric and green hydrogen haul truck fleet, the development of a zero-emissions rail solution to transport iron-ore from its mine sites to port, and the delivery of its first electric excavators to commence operational use on site.

Furthermore, the miner is hoping to achieve a final investment decision on the electrical distribution and charging infrastructure for our first two green mine sites and port operations. 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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