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Soaring coal and metal prices powered Swiss mining and trading firm Glencore to a net income of $5 billion in 2021, a notable recovery from its $1.9 billion loss in 2020. Yet the firm's lucrative returns from polluting industries raise questions about how it will reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Glencore is contributing to the green-energy transition in other ways—for example, by selling metals and key battery components to manufacturers of EVs and solar panels. But legal troubles have dogged Glencore: In February 2021, it announced plans to pay $1.5 billion in 2022 to settle longstanding multinational bribery probes, and it entered guilty pleas on those matters in the U.S., the U.K., and Brazil in May 2022.
Brendon Thorne—Bloomberg via Getty Images
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