BlackRock voted against Glencore’s climate progress report

LONDON (Reuters) – Major Glencore shareholder BlackRock Inc was among investors to reject the mining giant’s climate progress report at its annual meeting in May, citing inconsistencies, a voting disclosure page on the asset manager’s website shows.

BlackRock’s entities, which collectively own more than 6% of Glencore’s stock, according to LSEG data, boosted dissident shareholders and helped the total votes in opposition to the company’s climate plan pass 30% for the first time.

Noting that while Glencore has improved climate-related risks and opportunities disclosures, “BIS is concerned that aspects of the report and recent developments have pointed to inconsistencies in the company’s stated strategy,” it said in a report published to clients on Aug. 23.

BlackRock allows many clients to cast their own votes at companies’ annual general meetings. It declined to comment further on the disclosure.

The page also showed BlackRock did not back a shareholder resolution seeking more disclosure on progress in scaling back thermal coal production, which got 29% support, without saying why.

Glencore mines and trades thermal coal, used to generate electricity, and has said it plans to run down its mines by the mid-2040s, closing at least 12 by 2035.

Many of the world’s biggest listed companies published their first climate action plans in 2020 to cut emissions in a bid to help with reaching the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of capping temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But BlackRock in August reported a further decline in its support for shareholder resolutions on environmental and social themes, citing corporate progress on the areas and poorly crafted measures.

With $9.4 trillion under management, BlackRock’s votes have become key to many contests at companies around the globe and in turn drawn much scrutiny of its practices.

(Reporting by Clara Denina and Simon Jessop; Editing by Josie Kao)