Coal Crusaders Eye WA’s Iron Ore Industry Over Steel Emissions

Activist investors targeting Australia’s coal industry have put WA’s lucrative iron ore industry on notice, demanding the State’s big miners take responsibility for the emissions generated when their product is turned into steel.

Friends of the Earth-backed group Market Forces is engineering a shareholder backlash if WA’s biggest iron ore miner, Rio Tinto, fails to set targets for greenhouse gas emissions “including those downstream from iron ore production”.

Yesterday’s shareholder resolution was lampooned by Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who urged corporate Australia to stand up against the political demands of activist investors.

Rio Tinto opened a Pandora’s box last week when it warned its biggest earner, iron ore, could be hit in a lower carbon-emission world set to start next year when the Paris Agreement kicks in.

That agreement aims to limit the increase in average global temperature to below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.