Media release

BHP risks investor blowback through association with Canavan’s fossil fuels-friendly taskforce

MEDIA COMMENT 28 March 2018 Responding to Matt Canavan’s new ‘resources 2030 taskforce’ announced at the Press Club today Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said: “It is a very risky move for BHP to agree to have a senior executive, Mike Henry, on Matt Canavan's new fossil fuels-friendly taskforce.  “This will draw BHP’s business and brand closer to coal, at a time when they are under pressure from investors to create distance.  It is also worth noting that, while the Minerals Council of Australia is not explicitly a taskforce member, senior BHP executive Henry is a board member of the lobby group.   “While the global financial sector is rapidly decarbonising, Australia’s government is absolutely enamoured with coal. “The recent appointment of former Minerals Council boss, Brendan Pearson, to a key lobbying position in Finance Minister Mathias Cormann’s office is further proof of the influence of coal in the high echelons of Australian politics.  “As long as organisations like BHP and Rio Tinto bankroll the activities of fossil fuels lobbyists, we will see our national policy debate descend further into farce, damaging the economic interests of these companies in stable policy to reduce emissions,” said Ms O’Brien. BHP are expected to announce their decision on whether they will cut their ties with the World Coal Association and the US Chamber of Commerce by March 31 2018. They have the Minerals Council of Australia under review until 31 December 2018. END   CONTACT Brynn O’Brien ACCR Executive Director +61 423 951 316  Brami Jegan Holdfast Communications  +61 448 276 945