Investors call for mining giant climate risk transparency

Investors responsible for more than $8 trillion have called on mining giants Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto to be more transparent over climate change risks and opportunities to their businesses.

The move comes in the form of shareholder resolutions which have received support from four of the world’s ten largest pension funds: Dutch funds ABP via APG and PFZW via PGGM, North American funds CalPERS and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The ‘Aiming for A’ coalition, which successfully filed similar resolutions at BP and Shell last year and of which ClientEarth is a partner, announced the resolutions had reached two unprecedented milestones.

For the first time in the UK, investors backing an AGM resolution make up 5% of a company’s voting shares – in this case Anglo American’s.

In another first, more than 100 co-filers who have Rio Tinto as part of their main investment portfolio have backed that resolution.

The Paris Agreement has provided a major incentive for carbon intensive companies to assess and report on the risks and opportunities facing their organisations as a result of climate change.

ClientEarth lawyer Alice Garton, who said: “These historic resolutions show how much investors value transparency on the climate risks and opportunities facing companies.

“The Paris Agreement was a game-changer for carbon intensive industries and company reporting. These resolutions, which we expect will become binding on management after the AGM votes, are an excellent example of investors’ desire for more complete information post-Paris.”

This year, as well as four of the world’s ten largest pension funds, four of continental Europe’s ten largest Fund Managers have also backed the resolution, including Aegon Asset Management, Amundi Asset Management, AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas Investment Partners.

There are eight co-filers across the UK’s ten largest pension funds and ten largest asset managers, including BT Pension Scheme, Railpen, USS, Aviva Investors and Schroders.

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Karl Normington