Mining giant Glencore pledged on Wednesday to limit its coal production and instead prioritise investment in other commodities needed as part of a transition towards cleaner energy and transportation.
"To meet the growing needs of a lower carbon economy, Glencore aims to prioritise its capital investment to grow production of commodities essential to the energy and mobility transition and to limit its coal production capacity broadly to current levels," the firm said in a statement.
Switzerland-based Glencore, which also trades commodities, noted that it was well-positioned to support the transition to a lower-carbon economy with a portfolio that includes copper, cobalt, nickel, vanadium and zinc.
The metals are important in the production of batteries, the cost and performance of which will likely be key in determining whether electric vehicles displace petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles.
Glencore said it believes that energy and mobility transformation "is a key part of the global response to the increasing risks posed by climate change".
Coal, a key fuel for electricity production, is a major producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a major driver of global warming.
Globally, coal use accounts for 40 percent of CO2 emissions, and is on the rise after declining slightly from 2014 to 2016.
Glencore said it agreed with international efforts to limit the rise in global temperatures while also ensuring universal access to affordable energy.
The firm also said it "must invest in assets that will be resilient to regulatory, physical and operational risks related to climate change ... to deliver a strong investment case to our shareholders." Glencore said it would begin in 2020 to publish long-term projections about reducing the intensity of emissions and mitigation efforts.
It added it was on track with its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 5 percent by 2020 compared to 2016 levels.
Glencore also said it would review its membership in trade associations is in line with its climate change positions.
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