The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the BM Alliance (50:50 Joint Venture of BHP and Mitsubishi) referral to the federal government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for approval of the Peak Downs Mine Continuation Project, seeking to extend the Peak Downs coal mine for 93 years to 2116.
The move comes despite BHP announcing in its August 2022 full year results that any BMA metallurgical coal growth was “on hold” and that “in light of the Queensland royalty announcement, BMA is reassessing future investment decisions”.
Commenting on the application, Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“BHP’s move to extend the Peak Downs coal mine for 93 years to 2116 is delusional. What part of net zero by 2050 does it not understand?
“The company has been speaking out both sides of its mouth on climate change for too long.
“It is hard to imagine that BHP’s carefully curated reputation for climate leadership can withstand such decisions for much longer.
“BHP seeking coal expansion over this time horizon makes it clear why the company is telling shareholders to vote against ACCR’s climate resolutions at its November AGM.
“BHP appears unable to get with its own program of climate change action, let alone advocate for climate policy that is consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. This is in spite of it disclosing since 2020 that a 1.5°C pathway will drive the greatest value for shareholders.
“Whilst Fortescue recently turbo-charged its pursuit of the post-fossil fuel era, BHP continues to plod along with business as usual commitments that are dressed up as leadership.
“The company has even refused to adjust its 30% by 2030 emissions reduction target after the divestment of the Petroleum division to Woodside.
“Investors genuinely thought the culture of the company might have shifted following the petroleum divestment.”
ACCR’s investor brief on the shareholder resolutions filed with BHP can be found here. This includes our response to the company’s comments in the Notice of Meeting for its 10 November AGM.
BHP states that BMA growth is on hold on Page 18 and points to the Queensland royalty decision on page 31 of its Full Year Results presentation.