Rio Tinto has quietly released its 2019 Industry Association Disclosure confirming their support of the Paris Agreement and ruling out the use of Kyoto Carryover Credits, but failing to walk away from the Minerals Council of Australia. This is despite the review finding “instances of public commentary and advocacy” from the Minerals Council that “is inconsistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
350 Australia Director Lucy Manne has said that the coal lobby has consistently undermined climate action in Australia and if Rio Tinto is serious, it has to cancel its membership.
“For the first time, Rio Tinto has publicly admitted that the Minerals Council has advocated to undermine the Paris Agreement. For Rio to now remain a member is quite simply a joke.
“If Rio Tinto wants to be taken seriously on climate, it has to leave the Minerals Council. Failure to do so just shows us that this is just public relations spin and Rio has no interest in protecting our planet.
“Rio really needs to put its money where its mouth is. It’s not enough for it to say it wants industry associations to support the Paris Agreement, it needs to walk away from groups like the Minerals Council that don’t measure up to this standard – it’s that simple.
“Rio is on the board of the Minerals Council and gives them more than three million dollars a year and yet the Minerals Council continues to undermine the transition to renewable energy. It’s clear that their ‘inside the tent’ strategy isn’t working and the Minerals Council is playing them for mugs”.
Rio Tinto’s review also did not highlight any material differences found with another of their industry associations, the Queensland Resources Council, that plays an active role calling for thermal coal expansion.
“The Queensland Resources Council is one of the worst lobby groups in the world for promoting new coal when we know we have to keep fossil fuels in the ground to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic global warming. For Rio to say they are aligned with them shreds any credibility they have”.