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Updated by Market_Forces on Oct 20, 2019
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Market Forces in the media

Market Forces is a campaign group focused on helping people to keep their money out of environmentally destructive projects. We are an affiliate of Friends of the Earth and member of the BankTrack international network.

Origin Energy defends 2032 closure for coal plant

Chairman Gordon Cairns clashed with shareholder activists over Origin Energy's stance on emissions reduction and fracking.

Origin Energy has repelled demands from shareholder activists that it update its emissions reductions targets and close its biggest power station two years early in a clash over climate commitments that dominated an at times heated annual meeting in Sydney. Resolutions proposed by Market Forces and the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility over emissions reduction, health risks from coal

Aurizon haulage contracts with Adani a 'moot point'

Aurizon chairman Tim Poole says Adani may end up hauling its own coal and has not yet asked other companies to tender for contracts.

Aurizon unfazed by investor angst over Adani as protests disrupt AGM

Aurizon's chairman has played down the risk of investors ditching it over its ties to the controversial Adani mine.

Inside Adani's plans to haul coal from Carmichael to the coast - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

One of Australia's leading rail freight companies says it is willing to service Adani's Carmichael mine, despite an intense campaign by environmentalists aimed at dissuading companies from dealing with Adani.

The AGE/SMH: From barricades to boardrooms: The climate activists targeting corporate Australia

As climate protests sweep the globe, another breed of activist is taking a different approach: agitating for change at the nation's biggest companies.  Over the next two months, shareholder activist groups like ACCR and Market Forces are set to feature prominently in an annual general meeting season in which climate issues are poised to overshadow the usual debates over executive pay.

Big banks facing investor heat on fossil fuel lending

Three of Australia's big banks will face pressure from investors on climate change with a series of resolutions lodged ahead of annual meetings.

Adani coalmine: Axis Capital withdraws bid to insure Carmichael rail line | Business | The Guardian

Investor action group says the insurer joins 57 other companies refusing to support the Queensland coal project.
Another major insurer, Axis Capital, has shunned the Adani Carmichael coal project and withdrawn a bid to underwrite the construction of the mine’s rail line. The withdrawal, first reported by Reuters, follows announcements from 15 of the world’s leading insurers which say they either won’t support the Carmichael mine, or won’t insure thermal coal projects. It also presents a clear opportunity to activist groups seeking to stop the construction of Carmichael. Those efforts have targeted companies – on their front pavement and in the boardroom – who might provide logistical or financial support to Adani.

AXIS Capital rules out support for “destructive” Carmichael mine project | Insurance Business

The company is the 15th insurer and 58th financial institution to ditch the controversial mine project

Insurer AXIS Capital reportedly pulls bid to cover Adani mine's rail line | SBS News

AXIS Capital has reportedly pulled its bid to insure the construction of the Adani rail line. Reuters reports that a source told them the Bermuda-based company had pulled its bid to insure the construction of the Carmichael rail line, ahead of the release of a policy to cut its exposure to coal. It's the latest blow to the controversial Queensland mine with a growing number of companies refusing to be involved. The mine which is set to produce 8 million to 10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year was approved by the federal government in June, despite strong opposition from environmental groups.

Activist investor group Market Forces welcomed news of AXIS Capital's decision. “Adani continues to be abandoned by its corporate partners that don’t want to be associated with a destructive new coal project,'' Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait said. Market Forces said 15 insurance companies, including Axis, have ruled out supporting the mine, along with 43 other companies.

Axis drops bid to cover Carmichael mine: Source | Business Insurance

(Reuters) — Lloyd’s of London insurer Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. has become the latest to rule itself out of providing coverage for Adani Enterprises Ltd.’s contentious Carmichael coal mine project in Australia, a source close to the company said Wednesday.

Lloyd's of London insurer Axis Capital drops bid to cover Carmichael mine: source - Reuters

Lloyd's of London insurer Axis Capital has become the latest to rule itself out of providing coverage for Adani Enterprises Ltd's contentious Carmichael coal mine project in Australia, a source close to the company said on Wednesday. Axis joins a growing list of global insurers to refuse to insure the project, which received the green light from Canberra in June despite fierce opposition from environmental groups.

The Queensland-based Carmichael mine is expected to chalk up annual production of 8 million to 10 million tonnes of thermal coal, responsible for a large slice of the world’s carbon emissions.

As a result, 14 large insurers including AXA SA, Allianz, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co [LBRTLI.UL], Munich Re, Swiss Re and local market leader QBE Insurance Group Ltd have already confirmed they will not insure Carmichael, according to lobby group Market Forces.

Suncorp urged to cut ties with fossil industries | Insurance Business

Suncorp faced a shareholder resolution during its annual general meeting in Brisbane this week, calling on the insurance giant to disclose targets to reduce investment and underwriting exposure to fossil fuels, in order to align its business with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Since insurers are at the frontline of climate change impacts, it’s common sense for them to cut ties with the fossil industries which are fuelling the problem,” said Pablo Brait, Market Forces campaigner. “While Suncorp has taken a positive first step recently on thermal coal, if it wants to claim its business is in line with keeping warming below 1.5 degrees and the Paris Agreement, it simply can’t support the expansion of the oil and gas industries. Suncorp claims its exposure to oil and gas is currently low, but companies like Origin and Santos are licking their lips at the prospect of an unconventional gas boom. Currently, there’s nothing stopping Suncorp increasing its oil and gas exposure massively over time.”

How shareholder pressure is seeing the biggest companies pledge to slash their emissions - The Business - ABC News

Many Australian businesses are taking action to decarbonise. Top ten companies like Rio, Westpac, and the Commonwealth Bank are taking up the challenge. Increasingly investors are demanding action on a clean, green road to profit.

Suncorp won't shirk climate issue: chair

Suncorp isn't shirking the climate change conundrum, with chair Christine McLoughlin insisting it will continue to pull its weight in the face of increasing... Suncorp's climate stance was still put under the microscope on Thursday as activist group Market Forces forced a vote on a shareholder resolution for disclosure of targets to reduce investment and underwriting exposure to fossil fuels.

"If Suncorp wants to claim that its business is in line with keeping global warming below 1.5C and the Paris agreement ... then it can't be supporting the expansion of the oil and gas industries," Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait said.

Suncorp spruiks its green credentials

Suncorp has issued a special flyer pitching its environmental credentials, ahead of its AGM, as it faces increasing pressure from green lobbyists.

AFR: Origin rejects activist claims it is out of step on climate goals

The energy supplier rejected assertions that the 2032 closure date for its giant NSW coal power generator is out of line with Paris climate goals.

Origin Energy has rejected criticism from activist shareholders that its target to halve greenhouse emissions is out of date and it should close its Eraring coal generator two years earlier than planned.Ahead of its annual general meeting Origin addressed shareholder.....

AFR: Eco-activists target banks on climate

Buoyed by successful campaigns against AGL, Commonwealth Bank and QBE, climate activist group Market Forces plans to use shareholder motions to put pressure on Westpac, ANZ, National Australia Bank and other financial companies into choking off capital to the oil, gas and coal industries.

The Melbourne-based "eco-socialist" group will ask Suncorp's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday to request that the insurer publish a plan to help meet the Paris climate accord's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Market Forces, an arm of Friends of the Earth, exploits a rule that allows 100 shareholders to propose motions at shareholder meetings to embarrass boards, including AGL, where one received 30 per cent support a week ago.
Their efforts complement the mounting pressure from large investors and financial regulators such as the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on financial companies to manage their exposures to climate change more rigorously.

AFR feature: How activists pushed CBA out of coal in five years

A small group of radical activists was able to use the corporate world's rules against itself, in one of the remarkable stories of the Australian environmental movement writes Aaron Patrick.

When the corporate lobbying arm of the Friends of the Earth – an environmental group that could be fairly labelled eco-socialists – told Australia's largest company it was working on a plan that could embarrass the board, guess what Catherine Livingstone did?

The famously tough Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman invited Market Forces executive director Julien Vincent to the bank's hushed headquarters overlooking Sydney's Darling Harbour for a direct conversation.

From the encounter – which was kept secret from most of the bank – both sides got what they wanted. Livingstone, a giant of Australian business, won't face the awkwardness of a rebel proposal at the bank's shareholder meeting in Sydney on October 16. Vincent, a 38-year-old climate campaigner, can and has claimed credit for the nation's most powerful financial institution repudiating coal used to generate electricity – an industry that made $26 billion from foreign sales last financial year and provided an essential service of modern existence to countless people, rich and poor.

How a small group of radical activists was able to use the corporate world's rules against itself is one of the remarkable stories of the Australian environmental movement.

AGL hit by further outages at Loy Yang

AGL Energy has suffered a further outage at its Loy Yang A coal generator in Victoria, fuelling further doubts about the increasing unreliability of ageing coal power stations just ahead of AGL's annual shareholder meeting where the future of coal power looks set to draw heated debate.

Sydney Morning Herald: AGL resists push for early coal power plant closures

Australia's biggest energy generator, AGL, has vowed to gain a clearer picture of how the Paris accord climate goals will affect the future of its ageing coal-fired power plants as the company resisted an investor push to accelerate its exit from coal.

A group of investors at AGL's annual meeting in Sydney on Thursday had put forward a resolution for the company to commit to an emissions-cutting plan in line with the Paris goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The resolution, brought by shareholder activist group Market Forces, would have required AGL to quit coal-fired power generation by 2030 – two decades before the company's planned exit date of 2050.

AFR: Paris climate goals 'not binding on companies': AGL

AGL Energy has firmly distanced itself from any obligation to align its emissions with the Paris climate goals, with chairman Graeme Hunt brushing off a strong 30 per cent vote by shareholders in favour of a resolution aimed at forcing the utility to cease coal power generation by 2030. "The Paris accord is an agreement between countries, not an agreement that binds companies," Mr Hunt said after the annual shareholder meeting.

AGL Energy has rejected a sizeable shareholder vote calling for it to bring forward the planned closure of its coal power plants, arguing it needs to balance the emissions goals of the Paris climate accord with the reality of ensuring the power grid stages an orderly transition away from the fossil fuel.

Activist group Market Forces lobbed a resolution that called for the company to quit coal by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. While it attracted a 30 per cent vote by investors, AGL said it would not leap to any sudden changes.

AGL hints at early exit from coal to meet 1.5°C climate target | RenewEconomy

Fiery AGL shareholder meeting sees company caught between growing shareholder calls for decarbonisation and a federal government demanding its ageing coal fleet remains online.

Shareholders considered two resolutions put forward by shareholder activists, including from advocates Market Forces, that sought to push AGL to undertake greater assessment and disclosure of the company’s greenhouse gas emissions and the public health risks related to the company’s coal assets.

Sydney Morning Herald: Our super funds can help sway climate-change targets

Investors need to walk the walk and use their power as shareholders to demand companies cut their greenhouse gas emissions writes Julien Vincent, executive director of Market Forces.