Key investors in Swiss miner Glencore have demanded the company explain how its coal production plans align with global efforts to curb the warming of the planet, shareholders said Thursday.
Glencore, the world’s largest coal trader, has said it supports the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and the move to a low-carbon economy.
However, nearly one-quarter of shareholders rejected its 2022 climate plan, and investors have turned up the pressure with the first-ever resolution targeting the company’s coal production.
“Investors want clarity on how Glencore’s ongoing pursuit of thermal coal projects aligns with the company’s public commitment to support the Paris Agreement,” said the statement from shareholders from Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The global coalition of investors represents $2.2 trillion of assets under management.
While competitors such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American have moved away from coal mining, Glencore is staying the course, arguing it wants to manage its mines responsibly until they run out over time.
“Glencore has a tremendous opportunity to be part of and profit from the energy transition,” said Michael Wyrsch of Vision Super, an Australian industry super fund, in the statement.
“It is well placed with its exposure to many key commodities for the transition including copper and nickel. That’s why it is so disappointing to see Glencore continuing to invest in thermal coal.”
In response to the shareholders’ resolution, Glencore told AFP that the company will publish a report in March that will “provide an update on our progress against our 2020 climate strategy”.
While burning coal for energy helped grow economies worldwide, the carbon-dioxide-producing rock is one of the key drivers of global warming.
At the end of 2021, activist investor fund Bluebell Capital demanded Glencore shed its coal business as investors increasingly look towards cleaner energy sources
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