The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has filed a shareholder resolution asking Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) to immediately review the advocacy of its industry associations and suspend membership of groups found to be lobbying inconsistently with the Paris Agreement.
Commenting on the resolution, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at ACCR, said:
“Despite Rio Tinto’s Chairman and new CEO proclaiming their commitment to climate action, the company’s paid lobbyists continue to stand in the way of climate action.
“Rio Tinto’s latest review, published just last month, failed to identify any misalignment with its Australian industry associations, despite the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) advertising campaign during the Queensland state election last year, and its support for the Morrison government’s ‘gas-fired recovery’.
“UK think tank InfluenceMap ranked Rio Tinto the third worst company in Australia for its lobbying against climate and energy policy. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto’s review shows the company would like its shareholders to believe that there is nothing to worry about.
“Enough is enough. Rio Tinto’s funding of Australia’s climate stalemate goes against its own interests, and those of its shareholders.
“Rio Tinto appears unable or unwilling to ensure that its industry associations support Paris-aligned climate policy, and therefore membership of groups such as the Minerals Council of Australia, the Queensland Resources Council and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, should be suspended.
“Last year BHP and Origin Energy suspended their membership of the QRC because of its brazen attempt to influence Australian democracy, and it is time for Rio Tinto to do the same.
“Rio Tinto should no longer support industry associations opposing climate action.”