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Fortescue’s advertisement in the New York Times.

Fortescue Metals Group will link its executive bonuses to climate change targets as it pushes strongly towards its decarbonisation goals.

Addressing the company’s annual general meeting in Perth, executive chairman Andrew Forrest said the bonus scheme would reinforce Fortescue’s ambitious plan to achieve zero emissions by 2030.

“We will not ignore the heating climate at the boardroom table,” he told shareholders. “We don’t, they don’t.”

“Delivering against world-leading emissions reductions targets will form a critical element of our incentive structures for executives.

“We will implement the ‘Fortescue Emissions Elimination Greencard’ to demonstrate
how emissions reduction and the development of pollution-free solutions are of
utmost importance to everyone, but now also to our remuneration.

“And I’m calling on chairmen and chief executives across the world, those who vote on this across the world, to change your remuneration policies to ensure that stepping beyond fossil fuels to protect your customers and your shareholders and your planet is welded into the DNA of their remuneration packages.

“If you don’t do this it won’t happen, do this it will happen. Chairmen and chief executives need to step up and do it.

“Green energy will become cheaper than fossil fuel anyway, and it will be asinine or simply laziness for CEOs to cling to their filthy, fossil fuel polluting future, leave it in the past. Do the right thing by shareholders, do the right thing by everybody.

“I call on them to follow the standard that we are setting and put it at the forefront of their incentives, turning their companies beyond fossil fuels.”

Forrest said that in September, Fortescue made an important announcement at the UN’s General Assembly on the decarbonisation of the company.

“We are the first major heavy industrial company to have a fully costed and funded plan to eliminate fossil fuels and reach real zero,” he said.

“Not net zero, real zero. We’ve got big companies right now saying we can go net zero per barrel of oil: that means no change, that means ripping off the carbon credit market or trading fakes.

“I mean real zero, stopping pollution by 2030. Real zero means no oil, gas or diesel and no offsets. Offsets must only be used as a temporary measure while the technology or innovation required to completely decarbonise evades us.”