Australian CA100+ targets not aligned on climate lobbying

The annual benchmark found four of the 14 firms assessed were misaligned on criteria for climate policy engagement.

None of the Australian companies included in the Climate Action 100+ benchmark meet the criteria for climate policy engagement, according to data from August.

The report follows the launch of the investor engagement initiative’s second phase in June in a move to tighten up requirements for signatories and company engagements.

The focus companies included cement producers Adbri and Boral, miners BHP Group, Rio Tinto and South32, oil and gas firms Orgin Energy, Santos and Woodside Petroleum, utility AGL Energy, Bluescope Steel, chemicals firm Incitec Pivot, industrials group Orica, Qantas Airways and consumer goods and services group Woolworths.

Just over 40 percent of the firms were not aligned on climate policy engagement requirements, with the rest classified as only partially aligned.

Boral, Santos and Woodside were misaligned on their direct climate policy engagement, resulting in a decline in score for Boral from last year, with a further four corporates misaligned on their indirect engagement.

Incitec Pivot and Rio Tinto received an improved score, despite being only partially aligned on direct climate engagement, and respectively misaligned and partially aligned on indirect engagement.

The benchmark also found that just over half (57 percent) of corporates are fully disclosing net-zero commitments, but only 7 percent have introduced short-term (up to 2026) transition targets.

On capital allocation, companies performed poorly, with 10 of the 14 firms not meeting the criteria, and four only partially meeting the requirements.

Across other indicators, businesses also failed to align capital allocation with their decarbonisation strategy, and adequately address Scope 3 emissions in targets and plans. Almost three in four firms (71 percent) failed to meet the criteria for the Just Transition indicator, which considers the impact of decarbonisation on workers and communities.

Other indicators covered included GHG emissions targets, historical GHG emissions reduction, decarbonisation strategies, climate governance and TCFD disclosure.

The Australian firms’ assessments were released early to provide investors with recent data ahead of upcoming regional AGMs. CA100+ is expected to publish a further 136 assessments covering the rest of the initiative’s focus companies in mid-October.

CA100+ has assessed its target companies against a series of indicators on commitments and methodologies to align their capital expenditures with the Paris Agreement since 2021.