BHP is a member of the Australian Petroleum Producers and Explorers Association (APPEA), the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the NSW Minerals Council and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN), which have all obstructed progress on climate-related legislation in Australia.
The London based think tank Influence Map estimates in 2014/15 APPEA spent about $4m on ‘obstructive climate lobbying’. The MCA counts as one of its principal recent achievements the repeal of the carbon tax which had successfully reduced Australian emissions. The MCA was a member of the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance which spent $9.2m in a successful campaign opposing the carbon tax. More recently it has advocated the Finkel review’s proposed Clean Energy definition encompass brown coal fired power stations. Though BHP states “we will not make political contributions”, BHP is a member of the NSW Minerals Council which is a significant political donor. A commentator describing AIGN objectives characterised them as “..., the prevention of any constraints on greenhouse gas emissions, the delay of any constraints for as long as possible, and lastly, exemption and/or compensation should any scheme be introduced."
The MCA’S obstructive climate lobbying activities undermine the possibility of realising the policy outcomes sought by BHP. We think that the MCA’s activities will, over time, have a negative effect on shareholder value.
We put forward a resolution addressing BHP’s membership of the MCA and representation on its board.
You can see the final resolution here.
BHP are expected to announce their decision on whether to cut ties with the World Coal Association and the U.S Chamber of Commerce (USCC) by March 31 2018. The USCC has a long history of opposing measures to tackle climate change which you can read more about here.
In order to file a substantive resolution on climate/human rights issues in Australia, shareholders need to propose an amendment to the company's constitution which allows them to do so. Therefore, ACCR has also proposed this kind of amendment to the company's constitution.
Please find our full media release here.
Please find our latest media release here.
Read an updated media release on the results of the AGM here.
Contact Brynn O'Brien firstname.lastname@example.org
Support for the Resolution
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US will vote in favour of shareholder resolutions proposed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR). See the global media release here.
Doctors for the Environment are urging BHP shareholders to support the resolution and cut ties with The Australian Minerals Council. See their Media Release here.
Representatives from HSBC bank and the Church of England have also been reported to voice their support.
The Sustainability Report BHP Billiton to maintain membership in US Chamber of Commerce 6/4/18
The Australian Financial Review BHP formally leaves World Coal Association over climate change stance 5/4/18
The Canberra Times BHP to stick with US group despite 'material' divergence on climate 5/4/18
The Responsible Investor Paul Hodgson: BHP, another US Chamber of Commerce deserter? 10/01/18
The Australian Financial Review BHP threat won't stop Minerals Council coal advertising push 10/01/18
Sydney Morning Herald 'Disappointed' coal lobby group delivers a rebuke to BHP 20/12/17
Australian Financial Review BHP misrepresented climate stance, says lobby group the World Coal Association 20/12/17
The Wall Street Journal Mining Giant BHP Breaks With Coal Lobby Over Paris Agreement 19/12/17
The New York Times B.H.P. Billiton, Acknowledging Climate Change, to Quit Coal Group 19/12/17
Financial Times BHP to exit World Coal Association over climate policy 19/12/17
The Australian Financial Review BHP gives Minerals Council a climate ultimatum 19/12/17
Sydney Morning Herald Are Australia's business lobby groups past their peak? 18/12/17
ABC Radio National The Big Australian under pressure to quit Minerals Council over coal lobbying 17/11/17
ABC News The world's biggest miner faced its shareholders in Melbourne 16/11/17
The Australian Financial Review Can the Minerals Council dig itself out of a hole? 9/11/17
The Guardian BHP opposes Minerals Council of Australia's war on activist rights 8/11/17
The Guardian BHP expected to reject activists' push to give shareholders a greater voice 19/10/17
BusinessGreen Time for BHP to stop funding attacks on climate action 18/10/17
The Australian Financial Review Letter to the Editor in response to 'Issue-based activism the new 'lawfare' 16/10/17
The Australian Financial Review Issue-based activism is the new 'lawfare' 4/10/17
The Australian Coal loses as Pearson leaves Minerals Council 4/10/17
Australian Financial Review Having deposed Grant King, proxy now backs BHP 3/10/17
Australian Financial Review Barnaby Joyce blames BHP for minerals council turmoil 26/9/17
Australian Mining Minerals Council of Australia CEO to resign 25/9/17
Minerals Council of Australia Minerals Council of Australia CEO to Step Down 25/9/17
End Coal BHP under pressure to dump pro-coal lobby groups over climate policy 20/9/17
The Newcastle Herald BHP under shareholder pressure to sever ties with Minerals Council 20/9/17
Sydney Morning Herald BHP facing shareholder demand it dumps membership of the Minerals Council of Australia 19/9/17
Australian Financial Review BHP to review Minerals Council membership after green push 19/9/17
The Australian BHP Billiton distances itself from MCA's position on climate change 19/9/17
The Bull BHP investors want Minerals Council exit 19/9/17
Reuters BHP pressed to quit Australian mining lobby over climate views 19/9/17