Why Rio Tinto’s recent threat to leave the Minerals Council of Australia matters

On Thursday 11 April, Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest mining companies, published an updated list of six expectations that it had set for its industry associations.

The commitments were privately negotiated with ACCR over the last several months. As part of those negotiations, ACCR agreed to withdraw our shareholder resolutions, planned for the Rio Tinto 2019 AGM.

Rio’s updated expectations

Rio will now require all its industry associations to ensure that their:

  • Public commentary on energy policy will be shaped by a technology neutral approach…

Ahead of the Australian federal election in May, ACCR will be monitoring the policy advocacy of Australian listed companies and the lobby groups that represent them, on climate and energy issues. And we need your help!

This is the climate election. The current government repealed a nationwide carbon tax in 2014, then sat on its hands for five years while our emissions continued to rise year after year. We are so far behind, and we can’t let anyone block climate policy in this country anymore.

Why does lobbying matter?

ACCR believes that vested interests — of companies that stand to…

On 7 March 2019, the Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) announced new guidelines which would require any new project emitting more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon to offset those emissions.

The climate villains in WA leapt into action. They began a week of intense lobbying. And they emerged victorious.

Just seven days later on 14 March, WA Premier Mark McGowan confirmed that the WA Environmental Protection Authority would withdraw the proposed guidelines. In doing so, Premier McGowan confirmed who really runs climate policy in WA, and indeed Australia.

Front page of The West Australian on 8 March 2019.

A week of shame:

BHP are expected to announce their decision on whether to cut ties with the World Coal Association and the U.S Chamber of Commerce (USCC) by March 31 2018. They also have the Minerals Council of Australia under review until 31 December 2018. A decision by BHP to continue membership of the USCC will fly in the face of the company’s interests and those of its shareholders.

The USCC is the world’s largest business organization and says it represents more than three million businesses. …


The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is a member-based organisation formed in 2012 to further corporate democracy.

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