Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani on Wednesday declared his company’s aim to turn net carbon zero by 2035, echoing views of his global peers in fighting climate change.
At the company’s first virtual annual shareholders’ meet, Ambani said while RIL will remain a user of crude oil and natural gas, it is committed to embracing new technologies to convert its carbon dioxide emissions into useful products and chemicals.
“Achieving a cleaner planet can be done by making CO2 as a recyclable resource, rather than treating it as an emitted waste. We have already made substantial progress on photosynthetic biological pathways to convert our CO2 emissions at Jamnagar into high-value proteins, nutraceuticals, advanced materials and fuels," Ambani said.
Ambani’s statement comes at a time when climate change has become a major issue for investors. One of the world’s biggest investment firms—BlackRock—on Tuesday said that it has put around 244 companies on a watch list for inadequate measures taken by them on climate issues. The investor also said that it took voting action at the annual meetings of 53 of these companies this year, by voting against the re-election of directors of these companies.
RIL also plans to develop next-gen carbon capture and storage technologies. It is evaluating novel catalytic and electrochemical transformations to use CO2 as a valuable feedstock.
Stating that RIL has proprietary technology to convert transportation fuels to valuable petrochemical and material building blocks, Ambani said the company will replace transportation fuels with clean electricity and hydrogen. It will combine its strengths in digital, power, electronics, advanced materials and electrochemistry to build full-stack electrolyzer and fuel cell solutions in India.
“We will build an optimal mix of reliable, clean and affordable energy with hydrogen, wind, solar, fuel cells and battery," said Ambani, adding that on successful implementation of this strategy, the company aimed to become net carbon zero by 2035.
Ambani said RIL has a 15-year vision to become one of the world’s leading new energy and new materials companies.
“It will be a platform company that will execute our vision in a worldwide collaborative model. This model envisages a large coalition of global financial investors, reputed technology partners, and startups working on futuristic solutions," Ambani said, adding that the business would be based on the principle of carbon recycling.
Ambani said the company also considers this an opportunity to make clean and green energy abundantly available at an affordable price to every Indian, enterprise and utility.
RIL, along with its upstream partner BP India, has set up a fuels and mobility joint venture, Reliance BP Mobility Ltd (RBML). RBML plans to bring cleaner and affordable options for Indian consumers with digital and technology as key enablers.
Last August, the companies had announced their plan to create a new joint venture company that will be owned 51% by RIL and the remainder by BP. RIL had said BP will pay about ₹7,000 crore for acquiring a 49% stake in its existing petrol pumps and aviation turbine fuel network. BP will bring its extensive global experience in high-quality differentiated fuels, lubricants, retail and advanced low-carbon mobility solutions.