Cbus silent on coal in new carbon reduction policy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 1-Sep-20

Industry superannuation fund Cbus is seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 45 per cent by 2030, while aiming for a net zero emissions investment portfolio by 2050. Fellow industry funds HESTA and First State have been explicit about their intention to divest thermal coal assets, but Cbus has declined to follow their example. Cbus has links to the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union, which has members working in the coal industry. Cbus’s chief investment officer Kristian Fok says its decision not to specifically divest coal assets was in part based on insight gained from members working in the coal sector.

CORPORATES
CONSTRUCTION AND BUILDING UNIONS’ SUPERANNUATION FUND, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FIRST STATE, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Big banks accused of climate hypocrisy

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 8-Jul-20

Market Forces estimates that Australia’s four major banks have provided a combined $35.5bn worth of loans for fossil fuel projects since 2016. The activist group, which is affiliated with Friends of the Earth, contends that this is inconsistent with their commitment to the Paris climate agreement. National Australia Bank’s chief risk officer Shaun Dooley recently stated that the bank aims to assist business customers to transition away from fossil fuels, due to the economic impact of a complete and rapid withdrawal from the sector.

CORPORATES
MARKET FORCES, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Anthony Albanese vows to set new medium-term emissions reduction target

Original article by Katharine Murphy, Adam Morton
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 25-Jun-20

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has used a National Press Club speech to call for a bipartisan approach to energy policy. He has also indicated that Labor will set a new medium-term carbon emissions reduction target prior to the next federal election. Labor has a long-term target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and Albanese says the medium-term target will be based on scientific advice. Employers’ groups such as the Business Council of Australia have expressed support for Labor’s stance.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Big miners back a greener future

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 22-Jun-20

The Minerals Council of Australia will release details of a three-year climate action plan on 22 June, as well as endorsing the Paris agreement. The MCA’s climate plan includes the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles at mine sites, and it has been put together in response to a climate change backlash from fund managers and shareholders of MCA member companies. As to the issue of zero net emissions targets, MCA CEO Tania Constable says there is no set sector-wide deadline, with member companies having their own timeframes.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Fortescue fast-tracks carbon-cutting plan

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 : 17-Jun-20

Fortescue Metals Group has announced a revised target of 2040 to achieve net-zero operational carbon emissions. The pure-play iron ore miner also aims to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from existing operations by 26 per cent over the next decade. However, Fortescue has not set any emission reduction targets for its Iron Bridge magnetite project, advising that it will outline separate targets for the project when it becomes operational in mid-2022. Fortescue continues to resist setting scope 3 emission reduction targets.

CORPORATES
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Rio backs green stimulus ahead of activist meeting

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 15 : 7-May-20

Rio Tinto’s scope 3 emissions will come under scrutiny at the resources group’s Australian annual general meeting on 7 May. A motion will be put to shareholders for Rio Tinto to outline its strategy for reducing scope 1,2 and 3 emissions. Just six per cent of shareholders voted in favour of a similar motion at the 2019 AGM. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson has supported a push by the Energy Transitions Commission for governments to ramp up investment in green energy as part of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPORATES
TIO2 CORPORATION PTY LTD, ENERGY TRANSITIONS COMMISSION

Investors back Rio payout cut for climate

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 2-Mar-20

Camille Simeon of Aberdeen Standard Investments says mining companies such as Rio Tinto needs to consider the short-term financial costs of taking action on climate change compared with the long-term cost of inaction. She warns that miners may incur higher costs of capital, stranded assets, reduced demand and lower shareholder returns if they fail to reduce carbon emissions. Ross Illingworth of Kingfisher Capital Partners has praised Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques for asking shareholders whether they are willing to accept lower dividends in return for faster progress on reducing emissions.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS AUSTRALIA LIMITED, KINGFISHER CAPITAL PARTNERS

Rio shareholders want dividends and climate action

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 28-Feb-20

Rio Tinto has released a report which notes that some of its investments aimed at reducing carbon emissions will generate returns that are below its typical thresholds. The resources giant has set a net zero emissions target of 2050, and CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques says this is likely to include the use of carbon offsets. He has used an investor briefing in London to raise the question of whether shareholders are willing to accept lower dividend payouts in return for faster progress on reducing emissions.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

Rio to spend $US1b on climate

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 22 : 27-Feb-20

Rio Tinto has updated its climate change policies, which now include a net zero carbon emissions target of 2050. In addition, the resources group aims to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions to 15 per cent of 2018 levels by 2030, while it has set a goal of reducing its emissions intensity to 30 per cent of 2018 levels by the same date. However, it has not set any targets for scope 3 emissions. Rio Tinto has also committed to investing $US1bn ($1.5bn) in climate initiatives over the next five years.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO

ALP target a business bodyblow

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Elias Visontay
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 24-Feb-20

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has criticised Labor’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, describing it as "reckless and irresponsible". Labor leader Anthony Albanese has indicated that the net zero emissions target will be economy-wide, prompting concern among sectors such as agriculture and logistics. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has warned that achieving this target would require Australia to eliminate most of its cattle herd, which would in turn result in higher costs for consumers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER RESOURCES, NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION LIMITED