Incitec Pivot is an Australian multinational corporation that manufactures fertiliser, explosives, chemicals, and delivers mining services.
At its annual general meeting yesterday, chairman Paul Brasher was asked if the board support the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Brasher refused to take a stance saying:
“Our position is we will work with government. We will work with whatever regulations and commitments are made that affect us and the companies in which we operate.”
In the last year Incitec Pivot has looked at how different warming scenarios – including a 2°C and a 4°C warming scenarios would affect the business. However our Investing the Dark research shows the company does not have an emissions reductions plan or emissions reduction targets. A shareholder wanted to know if those scenarios including a detailed analysis of the financial risk would be made available to shareholders. The answer was no.
“I don’t believe we will make that sort of information available,” Brasher said.
Incitec Pivot does reveal in its annual report however that in a 4°C global warming scenario it would sell more fertiliser. The absurdity of this claim was pointed out by Dan Gocher from ACCR.
“At 4°C we’re talking about societal collapse, we are not talking functional economies. I find it odd anyone thinks they could make money at 4°C.”
Brasher dodged the issue by asking to discuss this point outside the meeting.
The company was also put under pressure over its memberships of Manufacturing Australia, the Minerals Council of Australia and the Queensland Resources Council. All three associations have called for new coal fired power stations in the next 12 months.
“Is that a position you agree with?” Gocher asked.
“We supply the demand for our customers. We don’t get involved in decisions about people building coal stations or not building power stations,” Brasher replied.
“We’re getting to the crux of the problem,” replied Gocher. “We have a bunch of companies including this one that are members of these associations. These associations obstructing climate policy in this country. Then we have companies like this one that won’t take responsibility for that advocacy.”
It’s worrying that large multinational companies like Incitec Pivot are signed up to organisations that are blocking urgent climate action and also don’t have a clear emissions reduction plan.
Chances are that you are a part-owner of this irresponsible company through your superfund.