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Fortescue Metals Group chief executive officer Andrew Forrest.

The pledge is part of a $9.2 billion plan to hit net-zero emissions, and to eliminate fossil fuel use entirely and not rely on carbon offsets by the end of the decade.

Fortescue said its decarbonisation strategy and associated investment, when fully implemented, will reduce annual operating costs by $US818 million ($1.21 billion), avoid three million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year, and supply a carbon-free iron ore product.

“We must accelerate our transition to the post-fossil-fuel era, driving global-scale industrial change as climate change continues to worsen,” Fortescue founder and chairman Andrew Forrest said at a CEO roundtable as part of US President Joe Biden’s First Movers Coalition and the United Nations Global Compact.

“It will also protect our cost base, enhance our margins and set an example that a post-fossil-fuel era is good commercial, common sense.”

The company’s cumulative $US6.2 billion ($9.2 billion) investment will be made between 2024 and 2028 and include an additional 2–3 gigawatts of renewable energy generation and battery storage, as well as the estimated costs associated with a green mining fleet and locomotives.

Fortescue said it expects the investment to enable the displacement of approximately 700 million litres of diesel and 15 million gigajoules of gas per year by 2030, plus the associated reduction in CO2 emissions.

“There’s no doubt that the energy landscape has changed dramatically over the past two years and this change has accelerated since Russia invaded Ukraine,” Forrest said.

“We are already seeing direct benefits of the transition away from fossil fuels – we avoided 78 million litres of diesel usage at our Chichester Hub in FY22.

“Fortescue, FFI and FMG, is moving at speed to transition into a global green metals, minerals, energy and technology company, capable of delivering not just green iron ore but also the minerals, knowledge and technology critical to the energy transition.”