FMG leads on climate, Twiggy must abandon gas projects
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is welcoming Fortescue Metal Group’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2030, announced today.
Commenting on the announcement, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the ACCR said:
“Fortescue is now firmly leading corporate Australia with this commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2030, without reliance on offsets.
“However, the commitment has not set a target for the Scope 3 emissions from steel production, which is easily the largest part of its carbon footprint.
“There is also the contradiction of Twiggy Forrest planning to develop a fossil gas import terminal in NSW, and Squadron Energy’s fracking plans. If Twiggy wants to be taken seriously on climate, he must abandon any expansion of the fossil gas industry.
“Fortescue’s commitment to developing hydrogen for use in shipping, rail and drill rigs, and batteries in haul trucks is a huge step forward. With the enormous profits they are currently counting from iron ore, BHP and Rio Tinto must do the same.
“Fortescue’s commitment is literally decades ahead of the rest of the ASX. In order to give shareholders comfort, it should put these plans to an annual vote by committing to a ‘Say on Climate’, as Glencore and Rio Tinto have already done.”
Say on Climate is a major, global climate-corporate governance initiative launched in 2020 by TCI Fund Management, the activist fund run by Chris Hohn, and its charitable foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) (CIFF).
ACCR has filed Say on Climate resolutions with Santos and Woodside, which will be voted upon at their upcoming annual meetings on 15 April.
The aim of the initiative is to generate a widespread increase in focus of listed companies and their investors on developing and delivering Paris-aligned plans, with increased accountability around substance of and performance against those plans through annual shareholder votes.
The precedent for this approach was set by TCI’s work at the Spanish airport group, Aena’s AGM in October 2020, where the resolution to introduce this requirement received 98% support after it was endorsed by the company’s board.
Companies which have voluntarily adopted a shareholder vote:
Resolutions have been filed with a number of companies globally, and statements of support made by various asset managers and asset owners (see Attachment). Mark Carney (UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance) is a public supporter of the initiative.
ACCR’s climate program aims to accelerate Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement. We engage with ASX-listed companies on their climate risk disclosure and the need to set emissions reduction targets consistent with the Paris Agreement, and we also push for reviews by ASX-listed companies of their industry associations’ climate policy advocacy.