Media release

Glencore declares ‘peak coal’

Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:

“Glencore’s commitment to cap coal production at current levels debunks the growth story put forward by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), and Australian state and federal governments. Today represents ‘peak coal’ for Glencore.

“Given Glencore only acquired Rio Tinto’s thermal coal business in 2017, and its previous bullish statements about the future of coal, this is an extraordinary about-face.

“Glencore and other coal miners are under pressure from investors serious about taking action on climate change. This announcement demonstrates that Resources Minister Matt Canavan and his fellow coal cheerleaders are wildly out of touch with the investment sector, and it should send shockwaves throughout the Australian coal industry.

“Glencore has also committed to review the advocacy of the MCA and other trade associations. Any serious review will find glaring misalignments between the MCA’s positions and the goals of the Paris Agreement. Glencore is the largest coal producing member of the MCA, and this announcement should bring to an end to the MCA’s single-minded coal growth advocacy.

“Australia can no longer budget on the infinite flow of revenues from coal exports, and must begin to plan for a life beyond coal, as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.

“Investor expectations of companies are ratcheting up. It is no longer a secret that investors have been pushing behind the scenes to see alignment of targets, capital expenditure and remuneration with the Paris Agreement’s goals at scores of fossil fuels companies. Glencore’s commitment is the latest victory, albeit modest, for forceful stewardship by investors. That several large companies would make pre-emptive announcements in order to avoid shareholder votes on decarbonisation strategy speaks volumes."

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