Press Release: Major Mining Company Joins Fight Against Global Climate Change

For Immediate Release:  
May 15, 2001

Contact: Dale Curtis, 202-777-3530
Katie Mandes, 703-516-4146

Major Mining Company Joins Fight Against Global Climate Change

Washington, D.C.- One of the world's leading mining companies has joined efforts to reduce the emissions that cause global warming and to bring about an effective international agreement on climate change.

The move makes Rio Tinto, based in London, the 33rd member of the Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), a project of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

Members of the BELC believe enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change to take action to address its consequences. They are committed to taking steps in their U.S. and international operations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. They believe it is possible to address climate change and sustain global economic growth by adopting reasonable policies and transition strategies. And they support further negotiations to develop an international climate change regime that is efficient, effective and fair to all nations.

"At a crucial moment in the global climate change debate, Rio Tinto has taken a bold step forward," said Eileen Claussen, President of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Like the other members of the BELC, Rio Tinto believes the costs of inaction are far greater than the costs of doing what is necessary to protect future generations. And they are demonstrating that businesses can take action against climate change while continuing to grow."

Rio Tinto has a self-imposed goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production by 5% by 2001, based on 1998 levels. Rio Tinto is making good progress on achieving this challenging target and by the end of 2000 had reduced on-site greenhouse gas emissions by 5.7 percent from its 1998 baseline.

Rio Tinto is also the first mining company to join the BELC. The other members of the council, mostly Fortune 500 companies, represent a diverse group of industries including energy, chemicals, consumer appliances, motor vehicles and high technology. These corporations do not contribute financially to the Pew Center, which is supported solely by contributions from charitable organizations.

The other members of the BELC are: ABB; Air Products and Chemicals; Alcoa; American Electric Power; Baxter International; Boeing; BP; California Portland Cement Co.; CH2M HILL; Cummins Inc.; DTE Energy; DuPont; Enron; Entergy; Georgia-Pacific; Holnam; IBM; Intel; Interface Inc.; Lockheed Martin; Maytag; Ontario Power Generation; PG&E Corporation; Rohm and Haas; Royal Dutch/Shell; Sunoco; Toyota; TransAlta Corp.; United Technologies; Weyerhaeuser, Whirlpool and Wisconsin Energy Corporation.

For more information on the Pew Center and the Business Environmental Leadership Council, see www.c2es.org.

# # #


About the Pew Center
The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the United States' largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of the environment. The Pew Center is an independent, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

The Pew Center includes the Business Environmental Leadership Council, which is composed of more than 30 largely Fortune 500 corporations, all working with the Pew Center to address issues related to climate change. The companies do not contribute financially to the Pew Center -- it is solely supported by contributions from charitable foundations.