Media release

Glencore knew of coal’s “gaseous nature” - action required on methane pollution

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is encouraging coal giant Glencore to take action to accurately measure and reduce methane escaping from its Hail Creek surface coal mine where the “gaseous nature” of the target coal seam was known about for years, as reported by Bloomberg. There are ongoing concerns the company is underreporting scope 1 emissions from the mine.

Assessment documents for the Hail Creek coal mine extension obtained by ACCR from the Federal and Queensland governments contain an acknowledgement that the target coal seam had a “gaseous nature”. However, in response to methane satellite data gathered by the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Glencore downplayed any potential methane pollution from the mine.

Naomi Hogan, Strategic Project Lead at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“Preventing the release of methane to the atmosphere is one of the most effective ways to reduce global heating in the near term. Methane is a ticking time bomb, and tackling this issue is recognised internationally as a crucial climate change solution.

“There is an increasingly glaring gap between the methane emissions being reported to shareholders and the methane emissions being measured via new technologies and satellites.

“Methane measurement technology is improving all the time, and coal miners like Glencore cannot continue to bat off the unwanted attention on Scope 1 emissions.

“If Glencore is serious about its climate commitments, the company would immediately demonstrate good corporate practice by utilising new measurement technologies, accurately reporting and seeking to reduce methane emissions.

“Methane scientists carefully screened and quantified the satellite data over Hail Creek, and it’s irresponsible for Glencore to dismiss the research, as it puts investors’ money at risk.

“It is absolutely critical that companies like Glencore prioritise investment to reign in fugitive methane emissions as soon as possible, to prevent the potent greenhouse gas escalating climate risks.

“Investors need more certainty that Glencore and other coal producers are using all technologies available to most accurately monitor, report and ultimately bring down harmful methane emissions.

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