Rio Tinto is engaged in minerals and metals exploration, development, production and processing, with a portfolio of assets condensed into four product groups: aluminium, copper and diamonds, energy and minerals, and iron ore. Rio Tinto is a significant emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, with a particularly large Scope 3 footprint. Rio Tinto has also demonstrated social and governance failings through its destruction of the 46,000 year old Juukan Gorge Caves in 2020. The caves were sacred places for the Puuti Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura peoples of the area and held evidence of the oldest site of human occupation in Australia, and possibly the world.
ACCR continues to engage regularly with Rio Tinto on its climate risks, decarbonisation commitments, lobbying-related climate and energy policy, and cultural heritage. In 2021, 99% of Rio Tinto’s shareholders voted in support of two shareholder resolutions, including one filed by ACCR to immediately review the advocacy of its industry associations and suspend membership of groups found to be lobbying inconsistently with the Paris Agreement.
Whilst Rio Tinto has significantly improved its operational emissions targets for 2030 (50% reduction in Scope 1 & 2), it remains a member of some of the most destructive industry associations in the country, including the Minerals Council of Australia and the Queensland Resources Council. ACCR is continuing to engage Rio Tinto on its role and influence upon the carbon lobby and will likely seek to file another shareholder resolution with the company on this issue. RIO has also committed to giving shareholders a non-binding vote on its climate plan in 2022 (‘Say on Climate’).