Fortescue Metals Group

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
62%
Organisation Score
52%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Metals & Mining
Head​quarters:
Perth, Australia
Brands and Associated Companies:
Fortescue Future Industries
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) appears to support action on climate change in its top-line messaging, but has very limited engagement on specific climate-related policy. FMG’s engagement on the energy transition appears mixed, supporting a continued role for fossil fuels alongside green hydrogen in the energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: FMG appears supportive of ambitious climate action in its top-line communications. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, published in August 2021, FMG supported the IPCC’s scientific consensus on climate change and the 2°C temperature goal set out by the Paris Agreement. In the same report, FMG supported “policy-driven solutions” to climate change. In an August 2021 tweet, FMG Chairman, Andrew Forrest, appeared to support a net-zero by 2050 target in Australia. In a June 2022 Renew Economy article, Felicity Underhill, a regional director of Fortescue Future Industries, stated that net-zero by 2050 is not enough, and advocated for even stronger emissions reduction targets. In September 2021, FMG also signed the “Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization”, which called for a net-zero by 2050 target for the global shipping sector.

However, in August 2020 comments to Australia’s Productivity Commission Inquiry into Resources Sector Regulation, FMG appeared unsupportive of state-level climate policy in Australia, stressing the need for climate policy to be managed at the federal level and emphasizing the risk of policy uncertainty.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: FMG appears to have limited transparent engagement with specific climate-related policy. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, published in August 2021, CEO Elizabeth Gaines welcomed increased GHG targets at national level without reference to a specific policy, or the level of ambition required. In August 2020 comments to Australia’s Productivity Commission, however, FMG did not appear supportive of the GHG guidance published by Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority.

Positioning on Energy Transition: FMG appears to have mixed engagement on the energy transition. In its 2021 Climate Change Report, published in August 2021, CEO Elizabeth Gaines called for a “rapid” energy transition prior to 2050, prioritizing renewable green hydrogen. In a June 2022 Australian Financial Review article, Forrest also advocated that the Australian government do not use coal or gas to alleviate the ongoing energy crisis, and also appeared to support a transition away from oil and gas. Furthermore, in an August 2022 Politico interview, FMG Chairman Andrew Forrest strongly supported the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and its provisions for transitioning the energy mix, specifically referencing the potential for coal-fired power plants to be converted into green hydrogen plants. However, in its response to Australia’s Productivity Commission inquiry in August 2020, FMG appeared to support the continuation of fossil fuel exports from Australia. The company stressed that if traditional energy exports are seized, then it may limit the ability to “pursue advancement in emissions reduction related technologies with the potential for global implementation”, adding that the UNFCCC only mandates Australia to mitigate emissions within its own borders. In the same response, Fortescue also appeared to advocate for access to the judicial review process for new projects to be limited. This would make it more difficult for stakeholders to object to future fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Australia.

Fortescue has also engaged on the transition of the European energy mix in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Fortescue Future Industries, a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, supported the permanent displacement of demand for Russian gas by making recommendations to Germany in strengthening its green hydrogen trade in a June 2022 White Paper. The company also suggests policy approaches in Europe to integrate green hydrogen into the energy mix, including building on the H2Global initiative. Furthermore, in the same White Paper Fortescue Future Industries called for the EU and Germany to create: green hydrogen certification standards; public procurement mechanisms; subsidiary schemes; a green hydrogen trade corridor between Europe and Australia. Fortescue Metals Group Chairman Andrew Forrest also appears to support a move away from Russian fuel. In a May 2022 news release, Forest supported the European Commission’s REPowerEU Plan and contracts for difference to enable the transition away from Russian fossil fuels, and also supported the EU Commission’s policy plans for green hydrogen.

Industry Association Governance: FMG disclosed a list of industry association memberships in its 2021 Climate Change Report, published in August 2021. However, there are no details of the associations’ positions on, or engagement with, climate-related policy. FMG stated that it reviews its memberships annually, but the company has not published a review of its industry associations’ alignment on climate policy. FMG is a member of several state-level industry associations engaging negatively on climate change in Australia including the New South Wales Minerals Council, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia and South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
2NSNANSNS1NS
12NSNS21NS
11NS0NS1NS
1NSNSNSNS1NS
0NA-2NANANANS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
11NS011NS
0NSNS-1NS1NS
0NA-2NANANANS
NSNSNSNSNSNSNS
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
76%
 
76%
 
29%
 
29%
 
43%
 
43%
 
55%
 
55%
 
31%
 
31%
 
87%
 
87%
 
36%
 
36%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.