10 March 2020
Last week, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) filed a shareholder resolution (see text below) with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO), in relation to the advocacy on climate and energy policy by its industry associations, ahead of its AGM on 7 May 2020 in Brisbane.
Following extended engagement with Rio Tinto executives, and a commitment by Rio Tinto to improve the oversight and nature of the advocacy by its industry associations, ACCR has withdrawn the resolution. Rio Tinto will publish an agreed statement in advance of its AGM. Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment, ACCR said:
“We commend Rio Tinto for its commitment to improving the advocacy of its industry associations on climate
and energy policy.”
“We look forward to the publication of Rio Tinto’s latest review of its industry associations, and its additional
commitments in respect to its governance of industry associations, ahead of its AGM on 7 May.”
For further comment, contact Dan Gocher, email@example.com | +61 410550337
Ordinary resolution on our company’s climate-related lobbying
1. Shareholders request that our company disclose a process to ensure that its industry associations lobby “positively in line with the Paris Agreement.” ¹
2. Shareholders expect that our company’s industry associations active on climate and energy policy, will accept the following Principles of positive lobbying:
a. The association will advocate for science-based public policy to achieve a decarbonisation pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner; and
b. The association will not advocate for policy that would undermine the goals of the Paris Agreement, including: the use of carryover credits in carbon accounting rules; the expansion of thermal coal mining; or, policy that would prolong reliance on thermal coal for electricity generation.
3. Where an industry association will not agree to abide by the Principles, shareholders recommend that our company suspend membership of that association.
4. Given the consequential nature of public policy discussions during election periods, any material deviation from the Principles by our company’s industry associations during election periods in the jurisdictions in which they operate should result in an immediate clarification and consideration of suspension of membership.
¹ Principle 1 of the Investor Principles on Lobbying, set out in IIGCC’s European Investor Expectations on Corporate
Lobbying on Climate Change , October 2018. https://www.iigcc.org/resource/investor-expectations-on-corporate-lobbying