Betting Against Coal, Rio Tinto Taps Quebec's Hydro Power to Produce Green Aluminum

Senior Fellow Alan Krupnick lends his expertise on green procurement to comment on industry decisions to reduce emissions for Canada's Financial Post.

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Dec. 1, 2021

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The Financial Post

Alan Krupnick, an economist and senior fellow at Washington, D.C.-based Resources for the Future, said it’s still not clear how much “greening” the industry actually helps the environment. For example, he questioned whether the additional hydroelectricity that Rio will use to increase its smelter output could force another customer to use a fossil fuel energy, thereby transferring emissions to a different user...

Krupnick, who studies green procurement policies and carbon border tax adjustments, said that investors and rating agencies are putting pressure on industrial companies to track and reduce their emissions but as yet the government policies that could create actual “markets” for less-carbon intensive products — with posted premium prices, standardized benchmarks of what constitutes ‘green’ and auditing — have not been fleshed out.

There are signs that the process is underway and markets are developing, but it could take years to reach a mature stage, he said.

“In the absence of government regulations that create these markets,” said Krupnick, “it’s hard to see how they’ll be created on their own.”

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