Rio Tinto joins 'first movers' carbon club

·2-min read

Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto has joined an influential group of companies pledging to use new clean technologies to cut emissions while continuing to grow.

As political and business leaders gather in New York for the annual "climate week" of events, Rio Tinto announced it would join United States President Joe Biden's First Movers Coalition.

The business coalition brings together firms together worth $US8.5 trillion ($A12.7 trillion) across five continents.

Fellow Australian iron ore leaders BHP and Fortescue Metals Group were among the founding members of the group of more than 50 companies working on cleaner steel, aluminium, chemicals, concrete, shipping, aviation and trucking.

The group represents industries that are responsible for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions currently, and warns that will soar to more than half the world's emissions without urgent action on adopting new technology.

"We want to bring Rio Tinto's considerable buying power to help build sustainable supply chains for emerging green technologies," chief commercial officer Alf Barrios said.

Rio Tinto said it would work closely with the Fortescue team on changes needed in global operations to meet First Movers Coalition commitments.

"As a member of the First Movers Coalition, we also look forward to building on our existing network of partnerships to support the development of new technologies to help power our way to a net-zero future," Mr Barrios said.

Committed to specific targets as a new member, Rio Tinto will buy more zero-emissions fuel for its own shipping fleet and make greater use of suppliers who use zero-emission fuels in shipping and aviation.

It has also pledged that more of the heavy haul trucks it buys will be zero emissions.

Rio Tinto made no changes to its commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while Fortescue this week unveiled a $A9.2 billion plan to get to zero emissions by 2030.