By Oliver Griffin
Activist investor the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, or ACCR, is calling on Rio Tinto PLC to disclose its relationships with industry bodies and lobby groups.
The ACCR said Friday that it wants a review of Rio Tinto's workings with these organizations, including with the Minerals Council of Australia, which the activist investor accuses of blocking progress on climate and energy frameworks.
Together with Australia-based Local Government Super, the Church of England Pensions Board, and The Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund, the ACCR said it wants Rio Tinto to table a resolution at its U.K. annual general meeting on April 11, and meeting in Australia on May 2.
The resolution calls on Rio Tinto's board to disclose industry memberships and membership fees paid since 2012 and to evaluate whether industry association advocacy positions are consistent with its policy and financial interests.
The resolution, which also calls on Rio Tinto to disclose to shareholders the triggers for leaving these associations, follows threats made by BHP Billiton Ltd. last year to sever relations with the World Coal Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce over disagreements on climate policy.
ACCR Executive Director Brynn O'Brien said the filing of the resolution shows that "the drumbeat of opposition to coal lobbyists like the Minerals Council of Australia is only growing louder."
Rio Tinto wasn't immediately available for comment.
Local Government Super, the Church of England Pensions Board, and The Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund have 84 billion Australian dollars ($65 billion) funds under management between them.
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