This is the latest step in a campaign by climate-conscious shareholders to force business leaders to explain how their goals and strategies will help achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement.Targeted companies are collectively responsible for up to 80% of global industrial emissions. Among them, mining giant BHP, which last week pledged to cut emissions from its operations by 30% over the next decade, on track to net zero by 2050 after sustained pressure from industry groups. activist shareholders.
Others on the list include Exxon Mobil, PetroChina, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, BlueScope Steel, and major Australian energy companies AGL, Santos, Woodside and Origin.
In a statement released Monday, the Climate Action steering committee lists “indicators” on which companies will be measured, including whether they have strategies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier and reduce “scope” emissions. 3 ”issued by customers using the companies’ products.
It says some companies have made significant progress, but stresses the need for stronger action on emissions to help limit global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels and prevent “devastating effects. of an otherwise avoidable climate crisis ”.
Stephanie Pfeifer, managing director of the UK-based Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said radical change was urgently needed and the analysis would ensure companies were clearly addressing climate change as a ‘problem critical for business ”.
“Investors will pay special attention to those who fall short,” she said.
Emma Herd, head of the Australian Investors Group on Climate Change, said investors expect Australian companies to ‘actively pave’ a path to net zero emissions through targets, strategies and oversight. clear executive.
In April, more than 50% of Woodside shareholders and 43% of Origin shareholders called on oil and gas companies to set scientific goals to reduce both their own emissions and the “scope 3” emissions emitted by their companies. clients. Woodside’s vote was the first time a climate resolution has received more than 50% support in a shareholder vote in an Australian fossil fuel company.
Andrew Gray, director of AustralianSuper, said the measures in the letter “would help companies clarify what is demanded and expected of them by investors.”
The letter says 59 of 161 companies have formally endorsed the recommendations of the Climate Disclosure Task Force, a global body that aims to highlight companies’ exposure to risks associated with the climate crisis.
Australian climatologists, insurers and the financial sector released new guidelines on Monday to assess the physical risk of the climate crisis for homes, buildings and infrastructure.
The voluntary guidelines, known as the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative, are designed to give banks and insurers consistent scientific advice on how to assess the risk of damage from events such as fireworks. bush, cyclones, floods, droughts and heat waves.
Companies involved include QBE, Suncorp, Insurance Australia Group, National Australia Bank, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, HSBC Australia and Munich Re. The scientific guidelines were developed by scientists from CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and leading universities.