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A coalition of groups concerned about the environmental and social harm multinational coal
mining company Glencore is inflicting in Australia have taken aim at the company’s
misleading climate claims.
The Environmental Defenders Office, on behalf of The Plains Clan of the Wonnarua People
(PCWP) Lock the Gate Alliance and Comms Declare, have lodged a complaint with ACCC
and ASIC against Glencore’s misleading claims on climate impact and its behaviour towards
Traditional Owners under the Corporations Act 2001. Read the claims
Despite Glencore publicly claiming to have decarbonisation plans in place, the EDO’s legal
review of the company’s activities in Australia has found no evidence to support such claims.
In fact, Glencore’s ongoing attempts to expand its Australian coal mines suggests the
opposite to be true.
The EDO has separately lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Board in Australia, raising concerns about apparent breaches of the Environmental Claims Code and Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics.
Lock the Gate Alliance National Coordinator Carmel Flint said, “Climate change is one of
the key challenges of our time and with it has come a fundamental shift in global policy and
public sentiment against the use of fossil fuels.
“It has also led to efforts by companies with climate wrecking business models to downplay
their contribution to polluting emissions with spin. It’s what we’re seeing here in this case
with Glencore.
“Despite claiming to have decarbonisation plans in place to meet climate targets, a legal
review of the company’s activities in Australia has found no evidence to support such claims.
In fact, Glencore has active plans to dramatically expand its Australian coal mining
operations and keep digging for decades to come.”
Plains Clan of the Wonnarua spokesperson Robert Lester said he had experienced first
hand how Glencore treated Traditional Owners with contempt when they dared to stand in
the way of its mining projects.
Last year, Glencore paid for advertising in a Hunter Valley newspaper in which it launched a
scathing personal attack on Mr Lester and fellow Plains Clan member Scott Franks, who are
attempting to stop Glencore’s Glendell coal mine expansion.
“Glencore’s behaviour towards Traditional Owners at its mines is anything but respectful,” Mr
Lester said.
“Glencore has personally attacked me and Scott – all because we dared defy this mining
giant and demand that our Country and Cultural Heritage be saved from its damaging coal
mine. “It is part of Aboriginal lore that everyone, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, should work
together to ensure that we look after the land for future generations to come.”
Comms Declare Founder, Belinda Noble said, “Glencore has launched its first brand
campaign ‘Advancing Everyday Life’, misleading the public that it is environmentally
focussed when, in fact, it is the world’s largest coal exporter.
“Since June it has spent more than $84,000 alone on Australian Facebook ads, most of
which show EVs, wind turbines and forests and don’t even mention coal.”
If Glencore is found to have violated the Corporations Act 2001 and/or Australian Consumer
Law, as alleged, the company could face enforcement action.