The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the confirmation reported in the Australian that Glencore has contacted the Australian federal and Queensland state governments to withdraw applications for approval for its $2B Valeria greenfield coal mine.
Commenting on the withdrawal, Naomi Hogan, Strategic Projects Lead at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Glencore has listened to investors’ concerns and heeded warnings of snowballing investor pressure.
“This coal mine went against Glencore’s investor expectations and should never have even been considered.
“Medium to long term forecasts for thermal coal show global energy demand is flipping rapidly towards renewables - clearly faster than Glencore had factored when it put this coal monstrosity on the agenda.
“Earlier this year, Glencore received a clear message from almost a quarter of its shareholders: fix your climate plan and your approach to coal.
“Investors were clearly unhappy about the apparent contradiction between Glencore’s public commitments to 'run down' the existing coal portfolio, and its pursuit of the highly polluting proposed Valeria coal mine.
“Investors have been engaging heavily with Glencore on coal production expectations. Building a new greenfield coal mine pumping out 16 million tonnes of coal out to 2067 would have been totally inappropriate.
“Withdrawing from this coal mine prevents over 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions that would have been released when this coal was burned. That’s equivalent to roughly two and a half years of Australia’s domestic emissions.
“Investors will continue to heavily scrutinise Glencore’s coal production going forward to ensure it is aligned with the commitments of the Paris agreement.
“Glencore’s review of the project’s future status should result in the mine being taken off the books. A new coal mine of this cost and scale is a stranded asset risk and investors will be watching developments closely to ensure shareholder value is protected.