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New Hope urges shareholder rejection of activists' climate plan

Business

New Hope has urged its shareholders to reject a move by anti-coal group, Market Forces, to move a resolution at its AGM which would force the company to adopt goals aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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It comes as the company attempts to fend off more legal moves by environmental group Oakey Coal Action Alliance, which has taken its long-running case against the New Acland expansion to the High Court. A decision from the court is pending.

The latest move by Market Forces is unlikely to succeed but will provide the group with a platform for it to speak out against the company. New Hope was also legally required to include a statement from Market Forces in its Notice of Meeting that went to shareholders.

The resolution calls on the company to provide shareholders with details related to the cost of winding up coal operations and assets in “a timeframe consistent with the Paris goals”.

It also wants the company to reveal production guidance for the lifetime of assets that were consistent with the Paris goals and plans for how the employees would be informed of asset closures and redundancies.

Market Forces said the resolutions were in the best interests of shareholders, given the risk further capital expenditure on coal developments could become stranded assets.

“We request disclosure of a plan to limit capital expenditure to only support production that is demonstrably viable in a Paris-aligned scenario and meet the company’s obligations for mine site rehabilitation, employee wage entitlements and an employee transition plan,” Market Forces said.

In its annual report, also released today, New Hope said it had been a year like no other.

It said strategies had been adopted to extend the life of New Acland to ensure supplier and customer commitments were managed while approvals were pursued.

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