London — Just over 30% of Glencore’s investors rejected the company’s climate progress report at its annual meeting on Friday, demanding more clarity on how the global miner will meet its commitments to cut emissions.
Around 29% of shareholders also backed a shareholder resolution seeking more disclosure on progress in scaling back thermal coal production.
Many of the world’s biggest listed companies published their first climate action plans in 2020 to cut emissions in a bid to help with reaching the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of capping temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
While several have set long-term objectives to decarbonise, investors are increasingly focusing on shorter-term targets that show progress on delivering emission commitments.
Glencore mines and trades thermal coal, used to generate electricity, and has said it plans to run down its mines by the mid-2040s, closing at least 12 by 2035.
Its strategy to responsibly phase out the fossil fuel signalled a divergence from peers Anglo American and Rio Tinto, which had sold or spun out coal assets, and had been welcomed by shareholders in 2021.
But some have expressed concern this year over how much Glencore is disclosing about its thermal coal output plans.
Britain’s largest asset manager Legal & General Investment Management and the fund arm of lender HSBC were among investors to file a request for more information to assess the company’s alignment with global climate goals.
Influential proxy advisers ISS, Glass Lewis and PIRC had in the run-up to the AGM advised investors to support the motion. ISS and PIRC also advised against the climate progress report.
Glencore’s climate progress plan had received support from 76% of voting shareholders at its 2022 AGM.
Glencore had said in a statement dated May 3 that it opposed the shareholder motion because it risked undermining the board’s responsibility for its climate strategy, given existing disclosures.
With opposition to its climate progress passing the 20% threshold that constitutes material dissent among shareholders, the company responded in its AGM results statement:
“We will continue to engage with shareholders so as to ensure their views are fully understood and to better understand the reasons behind these results.”
Reporting by Clara Denina, Additional reporting by Anchal Rana in Bengaluru; editing by Simon Jessop and Susan Fenton – Reuters