Investor engagement initiative Climate Action 100+ has released its Net Zero Standard for Diversified Mining, aiming to help investors assess the progress of mining companies as they move towards net zero.
Complementing its Net Zero Company Benchmark, the standard is designed to provide a transparent and evidence-backed engagement tool capable of giving signatories and the wider investment landscape the metrics most specific to the mining sector.
“Investors often have exposure not only to the mining sector, but to many other sectors that are underpinned and enabled by mining. For example, the autos, property, steel and manufacturing sectors are highly dependent on the commodities produced by miners,” said Laura Hillis from the Church of England Pensions Board.
“By focusing on the strategic role of mining in the net-zero transition, we can boost the resilience of our overall portfolio. This standard provides an ambitious but credible framework for investors and mining companies to ensure this critical sector supports a just and orderly transition to net zero, and it raises the bar at a crucial time in this essential global economic transformation.”
Demand for rare metals such as lithium and cobalt – key commodities needed for the role-out of clean energy technologies – is set to soar over the next decade. Meeting this demand, however, requires urgent and significant investment. Investors, therefore, require frameworks that can interrogate the credibility of current company transition plans, track progress and, where plans are not forthcoming or are inadequate, inform engagement conversations.
The metrics within the Net Zero Standard for Diversified Mining will now be piloted by assessing selected miners, including Anglo American, Glencore and Vedanta, with the objective of testing their practicality. Feedback from these pilots will be used to further refine the metric into a final list, with which is it expected public assessments will be made.
“The world’s leading miners are already shifting their businesses to help the world decarbonise, but some are just making claims that are not backed by reality,” said Rebecca Mikula-Wright, chief executive officer at the Investor Group on Climate Change.
“This new standard will help investors and governments separate the greenwashers from the companies that will have sustainable businesses in a net-zero world.”