South32 puts industry associations on notice over climate
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the decision by the board of South32 (ASX:S32) to support ACCR’s shareholder resolution, which seeks to ensure the advocacy of its industry associations is consistent with the Paris Agreement.
The text of the resolution and the supporting statement can be found here.
Commenting on the resolution, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“South32 has put its industry associations on notice over advocacy that is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement.
“By supporting ACCR’s resolution, the board has acknowledged that some of the advocacy of its industry associations is at odds with effective climate action.
“South32 recently updated its emissions reduction target to reduce operational emissions by 50% by 2035 (on FY2021 levels), which stands in stark contrast to what its industry associations support.
“The NSW Minerals Council (NSWMC) and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) continue to promote fossil fuel expansion and have repeatedly opposed the decarbonisation of the electricity grid.
“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 by the Independent Planning Commission.
“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.”
ACCR has also filed identical resolutions with BHP Group (which the board of BHP is supporting) and Origin Energy.