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Investors pile climate pressure on Glencore ahead of May AGM

19th April 2023

By: Reuters

  

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Global miner Glencore faces increased pressure to clarify how it will manage its climate change commitments after investors holding more than $500-billion in assets backed a shareholder resolution to be voted on next month.

Nine institutional investors, including Man Group, Scottish Widows and Brunel Pension Partnership, added their weight to calls for more transparency from one of the world's biggest producers of thermal coal, according to a joint statement from the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).

Major asset managers representing $2.2-trillion in assets late last year asked Glencore to explain how its production and capital expenditure plans aligned with the Paris goals on tackling climate change as part of a shareholder resolution.

Those concerns were not adequately addressed in Glencore's March climate report, according to the statement. At the 2022 AGM, nearly a quarter of shareholders rejected Glencore's climate plan.

Glencore is one of the world's largest producers and traders of thermal coal used in power generation. Record prices of the commodity helped to add some $10-billion to its earnings in the six months to June.

Shipra Gupta, Investments Stewardship Lead at Scottish Widows, said the asset manager would support the latest shareholder resolution at the annual general meeting (AGM) on May 26 in Zug, Switzerland.

Shareholders unhappy with board decisions can rally to vote against remuneration and director appointments amongst other measures.

The demands for more accountability follow Glencore's proposal to spin off its coal business as part of its $22.5-billion attempted takeover of Canada's Teck Resources, which raises the issue of future responsibility over coal emissions should the deal goal through.

Former Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said in 2020 the company would run down its coal mines and would not replace them.

"I don’t see how spinning off coal mines will help us reduce Scope 3 emissions," he said, referring to the emissions generated when the fuel sold by a company is burnt.

Edited by Reuters

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