Largest Aussie companies failing on climate

None of the 12 companies in the Climate Action 100+ (CA 100) initiative have aligned their capital expenditure with the Paris Agreement and it is a reality check for the engagement strategies of institutional investors.

The CA 100 released its Net-Zero benchmark which showed BHP, Origin Energy, Santos and Woodside all planned to significantly increase fossil fuel production over the next five to 10 years, while only Woolworths had set a 2030 target.

Dan Gocher, director of climate and environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said everyone was kicking the can down the road.

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“No Australian company has committed to significantly reduce their Scope 3 emissions, which is now a key demand from institutional investors,” Gocher said.

“The lack of progress from Australian companies is clear for all to see. Investors must now be prepared to take unprecedented action.

“Support for shareholder resolutions and voting against directors would send a very clear signal that delay will no longer be tolerated.”

Brynn O’Brien, ACCR executive director, said the benchmark heralded the end of greenwashing.

“This analysis lays out, in unambiguous detail, the work ahead – we wholeheartedly welcome it,” O’Brien said.

“It is cast-iron proof that the world’s largest emitters are failing to materially rein in their impact on the planet, and that investor strategies to engage them have not yet risen to the challenge.

“It is a reality check for global institutional capital’s engagement strategies with large emitters. There is no longer room for praising company posturing and losing sight of the need for genuine progress.

“In the context of the emerging global norm of companies offering shareholders an annual vote on their transition strategies, this benchmark analysis will provide an incredibly useful baseline.”

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