LONDON (dpa-AFX) - Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RTNTF, RIO, RIO.L, RTPPF) said that proposed constitutional amendment to allow non-binding advisory resolutions is likely to create uncertainty and gives rise to a number of practical difficulties, including in relation to the authority and accountability of the directors. Rio Tinto has rejected a climate change resolution from shareholders which called for the global miner to cut carbon emissions.
Rio Tinto said it is currently undertaking detailed engineering, economic and policy analysis on an asset-by-asset basis to inform new Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction targets to replace its existing targets, which expire in 2020. The company will release these new targets, and strategies outlining how the company plans to meet them, in 2020.
Rio Tinto said it is committed to being be part of the solution to address the challenge of climate change and is aiming for a substantial decarbonisation of its business by 2050 as part of the transition to a low carbon future. The company's new targets from 2020 will reflect this ambition.
Rio Tinto said,' the resolution calls for Rio Tinto to set targets for Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are primarily the emissions of our customers, mainly steel makers in China, over which we have very limited control. Options exist for the reduction of these emissions, but the speed, economic viability and ultimate deployment of these technologies lie within the control of our customers, not Rio Tinto. We will provide scenarios for the speed and effectiveness of these abatement measures, but we cannot provide specific targets'
Rio Tinto said, 'the analysis that currently underpins our work to set the new targets is predicated upon a less than 2°C scenario, reflecting the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Sustainable Development scenario (but not the more recent 1.5°C scenario outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their 2018 Special Report).'
Rio Tinto Limited said it has been served with a notice from shareholders representing about 0.02% of the shares on issue in Rio Tinto Limited proposing two resolutions for the 2019 annual general meeting.
These resolutions seek an amendment to the constitution of Rio Tinto Limited to allow non-binding advisory resolutions; and that from 2020 the company annually report on its transition plans consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. These plans are required to include short-, medium- and long-term targets to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions, as well as detailed strategies to meet those targets. This reporting should also outline how capital expenditure decisions will align to that goal, and how executive remuneration will incentivise adherence to those transition plans.
The company said its directors are unanimously of the opinion that resolutions 1 to 17 set out in that notice are in the best interests of shareholders and of Rio Tinto as a whole, and accordingly recommend that shareholders vote FOR of resolutions 1 to 17.
The company noted that directors consider that resolutions 18 and 19 are not in the best interests of shareholders or of Rio Tinto as a whole, and recommend that shareholders vote AGAINST resolutions 18 and 19.
The annual general meeting will be held at 9.30am on Thursday, 9 May 2019 at the Grand Ballroom, The Westin Perth, 480 Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia.
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