Pledge comes as it proposes an oilsands project that, if approved, would add an estimated four million tonnes of carbon per year to the atmosphere
Teck Resources Ltd. has joined a growing throng of companies that have formally pledged to cut their carbon emissions to net-zero as it awaits a federal decision on whether it can build a massive new project in the Alberta oilsands.
For Vancouver-based Teck, the promise made earlier this week to be carbon neutral — by reducing, eliminating and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions — came with a strong caveat: it’s giving itself until 2050, or 30 years, to reach net-zero carbon emissions. The date is so far out it simultaneously raises questions about the impact and makes the pledge look realistic.
“These announcements are quite positive because we know that’s where we need to go,” said Nikki Way, a senior analyst at the Pembina Institute, a Calgary-based clean energy think tank. “The remaining step is how do we get there?”
After all, Teck is proposing an oilsands project that, if approved, would add an estimated four million tonnes of carbon per year to the atmosphere. It also operates 12 mines that produce coal, copper, zinc and lead, and a major smelter. In total, its operations emitted 2.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, roughly in line with 2015 emissions, according to its most recent sustainability report.
Practical questions aside, Teck’s pledge to strive for net-zero emissions points to the growing clout held by investors focused on environmental, social and governance issues, also known as ESG.