Rio Tinto to keep funding climate change-denying MCA despite its own beliefs and shareholder wishes

SYDNEY, May 2, 2018 - In a sign that the tide is turning on fossil fuels, almost 20 percent of Rio Tinto shareholders voted today for the company to review its membership of climate change-denying lobby groups such as the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

The Australian-listed mining giant’s shareholders took the vote at its Melbourne annual general meeting in response to a resolution brought by the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).

“Today’s resolution may have been unsuccessful, but as a barometer of the changing public mood it’s a warning shot for Rio Tinto that the age of coal is ending,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific Program Director Dominique Rowe.

“What makes this decision the more baffling is that the MCA and Rio are at complete odds when it comes to their position on climate change and fossil fuels. Rio has divested from coal and apparently believes in the science of fossil fuel-driven climate change, while the MCA continues to block Australia’s transition to clean, renewable energy at every turn.

“It’s deeply disappointing that Rio will continue to bankroll the MCA’s climate change denial and the rabid promotion of coal.”

Executive Director of the ACCR Brynn O’Brien told the AGM that the global fossil fuels lobby’s sole objective was to slow the transition to a low carbon economy and warned that “they are winning”.

“[The lobbyists] know that the end of fossil fuel dependence is coming, and it is in their rational self-interest to slow it down,” she said.

“There is only one thing that can prevent catastrophic global warming: accelerating our transition to a low carbon economy. It is in Rio Tinto’s interests – especially now the company has exited coal – to accelerate this transition. Or at the very least not stand in its way.”


For interviews:

Martin Zavan, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner

0424 295 422 / [email protected]