In response to the IPCC’s special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“The IPCC has issued a clear warning that urgent, drastic action must be taken to reduce emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
“The IPCC states that we must transition away from coal-fired power generation almost entirely by 2040 in order to save the world’s coral reefs.
“According to the IPCC, globally we must reduce emissions by 45% (on 2010 levels) by 2030, which is distinctly more ambitious than Australia’s current national commitments of 26-28%.
“The Minerals Council of Australia, the NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council have all disputed the conclusions of the IPCC report, declaring that the future for coal is positive. Such mistruths have been repeated by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Energy Minister Angus Taylor, Environment Minister Melissa Price and the Minister for Northern Australia, Matt Canavan.
“Despite their rhetoric on climate change, few Australian investors, companies or their representative industry associations have publicly commented on the IPCC report - and the silence is deafening.
“The lack of sensible voices on the need for urgent climate action means the debate about the appropriate policy response is shaped by those with the most to lose – the coal industry.
“ACCR has previously filed shareholder resolutions at BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto on climate lobbying, and a similar resolution will be voted on at Origin Energy’s AGM next week.
“ACCR intends to file further resolutions with ASX-listed companies, seeking ambitious climate targets and calling on them to reconsider their relationships with industry bodies that continue to block effective climate action against the interests of members.
“We urge investors, companies and their lobby groups to urgently digest the recommendations of the IPCC and respond appropriately.
“It is no longer acceptable for investors and companies to complain about the lack of certainty of energy policy, while they allow policy to be dictated by the coal lobby.
“In the words of IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee, “every bit of warming matters”. We have no time to lose.”
Media contact: Dan Gocher 0410 550 337