Investors demand climate transparency from mining firms

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

The call comes in the form of shareholder resolutions which have received unprecedented support, including backing from four of the world’s 10 largest pension funds.

Four of continental Europe’s 10 largest fund managers have also backed the resolution, including AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas Investment Partners. In the UK, there are eight co-filers across the UK’s 10 largest pension funds and 10 largest asset managers including BT Pension Scheme, Railpen, USS, Aviva Investors and Schroders.

The movement has been organised by the Aiming for A coalition of investors which filed two similar successful resolutions focusing on climate change with BP and Shell last year.

Alice Garton, a lawyer at environmental legal organisation ClientEarth, 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.”

Step change

Funds belonging to the UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) were among those backing the resolutions. LAPFF chair Councillor Kieran Quinn said: “Since co-filing the first strategic resilience resolutions in 2015, there has been a step change in investor confidence.

“We are now seeing the larger pension funds and fund managers stepping forward to co-file. Part of this is testament to the positive engagement undertaken by the coalition and in-kind response from the company chairmen and boards.”

These transparency resolutions are part of a changing global finance system which has also seen a divestment movement featuring investors controlling more than $3.4trn and a booming market for clean energy investment.

Global banks are also welcoming the transition, with at HSBCCitibank and Santander among others launching green energy funds.

Brad Allen

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