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ArcelorMittal Sponsored Student Makes Headlines

Buchanan Iron Ore Port, November 10, 2015 - A young Liberian and an Oxfam Australia Food and Climate Justice Intern Alfred Wreh has called on Australian parliamentarians to take urgent action that will prevent climate change

Mr. Wreh, an ArcelorMittal Liberia sponsored student was selected to represent Brisbane and joined more than 20 people from throughout Australia, as well as Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke in discussing with politicians the impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Climate change is causing havoc with vulnerable communities’ ability to grow food through erratic weather patterns, droughts, floods and storms,” Mr Wreh said.

“Climate Change and its effects of global warming are real, they affect our resources, and it is a change that affects every fabric of humanity, people from all spectrum of the globe indiscriminately,” the passionate and youthful Natural resources intern intoned.”

Mr. Wreh argued that big polluters are causing climate change to worsen. “They’re putting our food, water and health at risk and making huge profits at the expense of poor communities. Given how much stress they have been putting on our World’s resources, especially in Natural resource rich country like Liberia where I was born and raise, how much more pressure we can anticipate and how this is likely to affect our socio-economic development?” he asked.

“Poverty has been halved in the past 25 years, but if we don’t act on climate change we could undo all this good work.

He however expressed dismayed that bigger companies and industrialised nations must rise up and take the lead, he said “We are also experiencing severe deprivation in a number of counties with more than half of Liberia's forests been granted to logging firms, bypassing environmental laws and with few benefits to the people, no food as people live on less than US0.50 cents per day, no access to roads and basic social services”.

In a very passionate appeal to world leaders ahead of the Paris Summit, Mr. Wreh said “we need robust, efficient and sustainable climate actions now, not in 2050”.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said the Australian Government must recognise that climate change was already severely affecting many communities, and make a far stronger commitment towards the new global climate agreement, to be finalised in Paris later this year.

Some of the distinguished Australian politicians at the event included the new Minister for International Development and the Pacific Steve Ciobo, Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt, Labor spokesperson for climate change Mark Butler and Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Alfred Wreh is one of several Liberians currently pursuing advanced studies under the ArcelorMittal Advanced Studies Program. He is study environmental management at Queensland University in Australia.  He recently made news when he became the first black student elected to the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) Student Board, and was featured on the university’s website and a local Queensland daily.

About ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal is the world's leading integrated steel and mining company, with a presence in more than 60 countries.

ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. With an industrial presence in over 20 countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key steel markets, from emerging to mature.

Through its core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, ArcelorMittal commits to operating in a responsible way with respect to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and the communities in which it operates. It is also committed to the sustainable management of the environment. It takes a leading role in the industry's efforts to develop breakthrough steelmaking technologies and is actively researching and developing steel-based technologies and solutions that contribute to combat climate change.

In 2012, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $84.2 billion and crude steel production of 88.2million tonnes, representing approximately 6 percent of world steel output.

ArcelorMittal is listed on the stock exchanges of New York (MT), Amsterdam (MT), Paris (MT), Luxembourg (MT) and on the Spanish stock exchanges of Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia (MTS).

For more information about ArcelorMittal please visit: www.arcelormittal.com.

Contact information for Liberia: 
ArcelorMittal Liberia Corporate Communications
E-mail: hesta.pearson@arcelormittal.com
Phone: +231 776 812 314
Hesta Baker-Pearson (Head of Corporate Communications, Liberia)