February 27, 2020

Rio Tinto Climate Announcement Just A Stunt While It Remains Minerals Council Member

Feb 27, 2020

Commenting on Rio Tinto’s announcement that it has set a target of net zero emissions from its operations by 2050, Lucy Manne, CEO of 350 Australia said:

“Companies like Rio Tinto should put their money where their mouth is, and cancel their membership of coal lobby groups that have undermined climate action for more than 20 years.

“Paying lip service to the Paris Agreement and 30-year targets is worthless if Rio Tinto is still pouring millions into groups like the Minerals Council of Australia and the Queensland Resources Council that continue to undermine climate action in Australia

“For the last 20 years, the coal lobby has manipulated our politics and blocked any chance at the safe climate future we deserve. If Rio Tinto is serious about this announcement, they will withdraw from the Minerals Council. If it doesn’t, this is just a stunt.

“The Minerals Council and other lobby groups have run coordinated campaigns of lobbying, advertising campaigns, and targeted political donations to block any attempt at progress towards a safe climate future. The former Deputy CEO of the Minerals Council is the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and the former CEO is his special advisor.

“The truth is, Australia will never be part of the solution to climate change while the Minerals Council has a stranglehold over our politics. It’s not good enough for companies like Rio Tinto to sign up to long-term emissions targets while still actively supporting the coal lobby to undermine action right now.”

Rio Tinto gave the Minerals Council of Australia $3.3 million in FY 18-19[1], which is three times more than the company donated to the bushfire appeal.[2] Rio Tinto sold out of all of its coal assets in 2018. It is also a member of the Queensland Resources Council.[3]


For interviews:
Lucy Manne, CEO, 350 Australia | 0417 387 516 | lucy@350.org.au

Authorised by Lucy Manne, CEO, 350 Australia, Sydney. Correspondence in regard to any authorised material can be sent to: lucy@350.org.au

[1] https://transparency.aec.gov.au/AnnualPoliticalCampaigner/ReturnDetail?returnId=51926

[2] https://www.riotinto.com/en/news/releases/Rio-Tinto-Increases-Donation-to-Australian-Red-Cross-for-Bushfire-Relief-and-Recovery-Efforts

[3] https://www.qrc.org.au/our-members/