BHP’s coal business cashes in despite its climate claims
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on BHP’s results for the year ended 30 June 2022, which reported a 173.5% increase in realised profit of $30.9 billion. The company also reported a tripling of revenue for its coal businesses, driven by a 225% increase in average realised price for metallurgical coal and a 271% increase for thermal coal.
Commenting on the results, Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“BHP’s results continue a key theme of this reporting season: companies in the business of fossil fuels are thriving whilst communities suffer in the face of war and escalating climate-fuelled catastrophes.
“Coal delivered a whopping 24% of BHP Group total revenue in FY22, up from just 9% in FY21.
“Whilst it’s easy to forget the scale of BHP’s coal business compared with other divisions, its annual coal production for FY22 was more than double that of producers like Whitehaven Coal.
“A key difference between BHP and the pure play fossil fuel producers is that it positions itself as a climate leader.
“Climate leaders don’t develop new coal mines.
“BHP is progressing a number of new coal mines and expansions in its joint venture with Mitsubishi, including pursuit of a staggering 90 year mine licence for the Blackwater South mine.
“Even though BHP is enjoying a 225% increase in prices for metallurgical coal, it is persisting to cry poor about the recent changes to Queensland’s coal royalties regime.
"As a major iron ore and metallurgical coal producer, valid questions need to be asked about whether BHP is acting in good faith with regard to the urgent need to decarbonise the steel sector.
"The company's messaging on the potential for decarbonising steel is sorely lacking the ambition that is needed to limit warming to 1.5C.”