The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on the 14% vote against BHP’s Climate Transition Action Plan at its AGM in Melbourne today. The aggregate vote against the plan across the dual listing was approximately 85%.
BHP became the first Australian company to provide its shareholders with an advisory vote on its climate plan, or ‘Say on Climate’. ACCR’s analysis of BHP’s Climate Transition Action Plan is available here.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Just three weeks after Rio Tinto committed to cutting its operational emissions by 50% by 2030, BHP shareholders have rubber stamped a 2030 target that is sorely lacking in ambition (30% by 2030 on 2020 levels) and leaves BHP lagging behind nearly all of its global mining peers.
“Given BHP would have been expecting shareholder support to exceed 95%, this level of opposition demonstrates that a significant number of shareholders expect BHP to go further.
“This is the lowest ‘Say on Climate’ vote globally since the mechanism was introduced earlier this year. Even still, it is disappointing to see investors fail to match their words at COP26 with action.
“This vote suggests institutional investors are easily cowed by big companies like BHP and they’re unwilling to force them to adhere to the Paris Agreement.
“BHP’s plan will see the company mine coal well beyond 2050—the date by which BHP has committed to achieve net zero emissions.
“Despite its claims of climate leadership, BHP’s climate plan isn’t even close to what is required to prevent runaway climate change.
“In FY2022, BHP intends to allocate US$2.3 billion in capital expenditure to oil and gas development, including US$540 million on exploration. BHP is also seeking to extend the life of its Mt Arthur thermal coal mine to 2045 and its Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine to 2056.
“BHP has failed to set targets for its most material source of emissions - its Scope 3 emissions from steelmaking. BHP generated profits of US$11.3 billion in 2021, yet has allocated just US$65 million to advancing the decarbonisation of steel.”
ACCR’s analysis of BHP’s Climate Transition Action Plan is available here.
Operational emissions targets of BHP and its peers:
|Company||Medium-term target||Long-term target|
|Anglo American||Reduce net emissions by 30% by 2030 (2016 baseline).|
Improve energy efficiency by 30% by 2030 (2016 baseline).
|Net zero operational emissions by 2040.|
|BHP Group||Reduce operational emissions by at least 30% by 2030 (2020 baseline).||Net zero operational emissions by 2050.|
|Fortescue Metals Group||Net zero operational emissions by 2030 (2020 baseline).||Net zero operational emissions by 2030.|
|Glencore||50% reduction of total (Scope 1, 2 and 3) emissions by 2035 (2019 baseline).||Ambition to achieve net zero for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by the end of 2050.|
|Rio Tinto||Reduce absolute emissions by 15% by 2025 (2018 equity baseline, adjusted for divestments).|
Reduce absolute emissions by 50% by 2030 (2018 equity baseline, adjusted for divestments).
|Ambition to reach net zero operational emissions by 2050.|
|Vale||Reduce Scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions by 33% by 2030 (2017 baseline).|
Reduce Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035 (2018 baseline).
|Net zero operational emissions by 2050.|