Glencore's climate action plan wins more support from shareholders

Reuters

June 3, 2024

A majority of Glencore investors have indicated they were satisfied with the commodities giant's plans to reduce carbon emissions, just as it gets closer to completing its acquisition of Teck Resources' steelmaking coal business.

Just 10 percent of investors rejected Glencore's 2024-2026 Climate Action Transition Plan at the annual general meeting on Wednesday, compared with around 30 percent who had voted against an earlier plan in 2023.

Opposition above the 20 percent threshold constitutes material dissent among shareholders.

The new plan published in March included an intermediate target to reduce emissions by 25 percent by 2030, following investors' demands for clarity on the company's steps toward achieving net zero by 2050.

"The introduction of a new 2030 target, covering all scopes and absolute in nature, is a positive development," proxy adviser ISS said in a report ahead of the AGM.

Many of the world's biggest listed companies published their first climate plans in 2020 to cut emissions in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of capping temperature increase to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.

Glencore mines and trades thermal coal, used to generate electricity and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and also has coking coal assets.

It plans to run down its thermal coal mines by the mid-2040s, closing at least 12 by 2035.

The deal for Teck's business, known as EVR, set to close by the third quarter, will add 20 million tons of annual steelmaking coal capacity.

"Once EVR is completed, we will develop a climate action plan around the assets regardless of whether those remain within a consolidated Glencore or if there's a spun-out coal entity," CEO Gary Nagle said at the AGM.

He added that Glencore will immediately consult with shareholders once the deal is completed and if the majority "indicate a willingness to spin off coal, then we will immediately take it to a binding vote."

The company had previously said it planned to eventually list the combined coal assets separately in New York.

"Although the omission of the EVR assets from the plans is not unreasonable at present, the current plan cannot provide a fully comprehensive picture of the climate strategy," ISS said.

Reuters reported in March that a growing group of Glencore investors were keen for it to keep mining coal instead of spinning out the soon-to-be enlarged unit.

Investors then said the polluting fossil fuel would be a lucrative option - for a decade or two at least - even as it is phased out in favour of renewable energy.

Photo: The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) 

 

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