South32 must end pro-coal lobbying to align with its own targets
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has filed a shareholder resolution with South32 (ASX:S32), calling on the company to ensure the advocacy of its industry associations is consistent with the Paris Agreement.
South32 publicly supports the Paris Agreement, and recently updated its emissions reduction target to reduce operational emissions by 50% by 2035 (on FY2021 levels).
Commenting on the resolution, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“South32’s industry associations, including the NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) continue to promote fossil fuel expansion and have opposed the decarbonisation of the electricity grid.
“South32’s recently updated climate target and its commitment to provide shareholders with a ‘Say on Climate’ in 2022, stand in stark contrast to what its industry associations support.
“The NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council have sought to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic by advocating for the fast-tracking of new and expanded coal and gas projects under the guise of economic recovery.
“South32 has done little to counter this advocacy, allowing its pro-coal industry associations to shape public debate.
“In the last several months, the NSW Minerals Council has lobbied the NSW Government on South32’s behalf to overturn the rejection of its Dendrobium coal mine project.
“The IEA’s recent ‘Net zero by 2050’ report concluded that we cannot afford to develop any new fossil fuel projects if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
“The IPCC issued a ‘code red’ earlier this month. If we are to have any chance of preserving a safe climate, pro-fossil fuel lobby groups must be reined in.”
Read our resolution and the supporting statement.
ACCR has also filed identical resolutions with BHP Group and Origin Energy.