Blackrock has criticised “inconsistencies” in the climate policy of mining giant Glencore and voted against the firm’s green strategy at its annual general meeting earlier this year, according to new filings.
The world’s biggest asset manager, the third biggest shareholder in Glencore with a stake worth some $9bn, was among a host of investors to reject Glencore’s climate policy at its shareholder gathering in May.
“While the UK-listed mining company has improved their disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities and has continued to deliver on their Climate Action Transition Plan, BIS is concerned that aspects of the report and recent developments have pointed to inconsistencies in the company’s stated strategy,” Blackrock said in its stewardship report.
According to new US securities filings, some 30 per cent of Glencore’s shareholders rejected the firm’s climate report, up from 24 per cent in 2022, the Financial Times first reported.
MFS Investment Management, the ninth largest shareholder with a 1.1 per cent stake, also rejected Glencore’s climate strategy, the Financial Times reported.
The rejection of Glencore’s climate plans comes amid growing criticism of the firm’s approach to its highly profitable coal business.
A host of top investors including Legal & General Investment Management, Allianz, Scottish Widows, Man Group and HSBC Asset Management all backed a resolution earlier this year calling for the firm to explain how its thermal coal production is compatible with its climate goals.
Blackrock’s own strategy on climate support has been under scrutiny in the past year.
The firm, which has some $9.4tn assets under management, voted in favour of just 26 climate plans at companies’ annual meetings in the 12 months to June, around seven per cent of the total.
Blackrock’s backing of climate proposals marked a sharp decline from last year when it voted in favour of 22 per cent globally.
Blackrock chief Larry Fink has reined in his support for ESG policies after a wave of criticism from lawmakers and campaigners in the US.
Fink said he had even stopped using the term ‘ESG’ in June because it had become too politicised.
Glencore was contacted for comment.