The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is calling on BHP to commit to cutting fossil fuel production in its forthcoming climate targets.
Commenting ahead of BHP’s release of its updated emissions targets on 10 September, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“BHP’s Scope 3 emissions from the processing of iron ore and the combustion of its sales of coal, oil and gas account for more than 90% of its carbon footprint (see tables below). While reducing operational emissions is of utmost importance, the easiest way BHP could reduce emissions is to leave reserves in the ground.
“One of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, BP, made such a commitment last month, demonstrating that it clearly is possible. Anything less than a commitment from BHP to cap then reduce production of fossil fuels over the coming decade is simply inadequate.
“While these commitments are welcome, BHP must address the elephant in the room - its fossil fuel production.
“ACCR has long argued that BHP’s lobbying has a greater impact on Australia’s emissions than its own operations. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BHP’s industry associations, including APPEA, the NSW Minerals Council and the Queensland Resources Council, have sought to entrench fossil fuels in the economic recovery.
“In the United States, the American Petroleum Institute has successfully lobbied the Trump Administration to rollback methane regulation and open up the Arctic for drilling. BHP must distance itself from this advocacy, and support calls for a sustainable recovery that addresses growth and the climate crisis.
“BHP’s slogan for many years has been ‘Think Big’. BHP should think big and support initiatives to develop green steel in Australia. With our iron ore reserves and vast renewable energy resources, Australia has the requisite ingredients to become a green steel powerhouse.”
ACCR has filed a shareholder resolution with BHP for consideration at its AGMs on 14 and 15 October, calling for a review of its industry associations’ advocacy through COVID-19.
Following its 2019 review of industry associations, InfluenceMap found that BHP had not “fulfilled [its] commitments to address misalignments between [its] stated positions and the lobbying of [its] industry associations on climate”, nor acted with the urgency demanded by its shareholders.
ACCR’s climate program aims to accelerate Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement. We engage with ASX-listed companies on their climate risk disclosure and the need to set emissions reduction targets consistent with the Paris Agreement, and we also push for reviews by ASX-listed companies of their industry associations’ climate policy advocacy.