Investors put pressure on miners to respond to climate change

Image: A sign adorns the building where mining company Rio Tinto has their office in Perth, Western Australia, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

LONDON (Reuters) – An alliance of around 100 investors is calling on mining companies Anglo American Glencore and Rio Tinto to show that they are working to lessen the impact of climate change on their businesses.

The group of European fund managers and pension funds including Aviva, Amundi and Schroders, which together manage over $4 trillion in assets, will file shareholder resolutions to the firms this month, investor coalition “Aiming for A” said on Wednesday.

Shareholders will vote on the resolutions at company meetings to be held in the first months of 2016. Miners are already grappling with an industry crisis caused by plunging commodity prices.

The resolutions include commitments to reducing operational carbon emissions, maintaining a portfolio of assets resilient to future energy scenarios, and supporting low-carbon energy research and development, Aiming for A said.

“We want Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto fully to demonstrate awareness of the risks and opportunities that climate change poses to their businesses,” Helen Wildsmith, founder of Aiming for A, said in a statement.

The global climate summit in Paris last weekend forged a landmark agreement to transform the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy.

The Aiming for A coalition includes three Church of England investment bodies, the UK local authority pension fund forum, Swiss bank Sarasin and UK fund firm Hermes Investment Management. It takes its name from the grading of efforts to monitor carbon usage.

It is leading the filing of the resolutions by a broader grouping of investors.

In addition to Aviva, Amundi and Schroders, the broader group includes UK pension funds Railpen and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, BNP Paribas Investment Partners and Dutch investor APG Asset Management.

The resolutions are similar to those filed by Aiming for A with BP and Shell, which the coalition said secured the support of their boards and 98 percent of shareholders, and now require both companies to disclose the impact of climate change on their businesses.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Keith Weir)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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