Has BHP Chosen Coal Over Coral?

Has BHP Chosen Coal Over Coral?

Media Comment
25 October 2018

Commenting on recent changes to BHP’s position on climate change, Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility said:

“It appears that BHP has declared that coal is more important than coral, by removing reference to ‘the lower end of the IPCC emission scenarios’ in its Climate Change position statement just weeks before the release of the IPCC’s 1.5°C report.

“Given the IPCC  1.5°C report states that we must transition away from coal-fired power generation almost entirely by 2040 in order to save the world’s coral reefs, serious questions must be asked why BHP removed reference to higher ambition scenarios.

“While BHP earned media plaudits for describing the IPCC’s 1.5°C special report as a ‘rallying cry’, it watered down its own position on climate change. Is BHP trying to avoid questions about the future of its own coal assets?

“BHP Chairman Ken MacKenzie’s role on the Chairman’s Panel of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, whose sole purpose is to protect the reef, should be scrutinised in light of this change to BHP’s Climate Change position statement.

“BHP’s own industry associations have disputed the recommendations of the IPCC. Just two weeks ago, the Minerals Council’s new CEO Tania Constable said she ‘didn’t see a transition out of coal in the short, medium or even the longer term at this stage.

“BHP’s contributions to climate policy must be viewed with scepticism until it stops funding lobby groups that stand in the way of climate action – including the Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council of Australia and the US Chamber of Commerce.”

END

Timeline:
Prior to mid September 2018: We believe the world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change to the lower end of the IPCC emissions scenarios in line with current international agreements.
From mid September 2018 and current: We believe the world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change in line with current international agreements.
8 October 2018: IPCC 1.5C report is released.

Media contact
Dan Gocher | dan@accr.org.au | +61 410 550 337
Brami Jegan | brami.jegan@gsccnetwork.org | + 61 448 276 945

Current statement:

Our position on climate change

We accept the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change science that warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable.

We believe that:

  • The world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change in line with current international agreements while providing access to affordable energy. We do not prioritise one over the other – both are essential to sustainable development.
  • Under all current plausible scenarios, fossil fuels will continue to be a significant part of the energy mix for decades.

  • There needs to be an acceleration of effort to drive energy efficiency, develop and deploy low emissions technology and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

  • There should be a price on carbon, implemented in a way that addresses competitiveness concerns and achieves lowest cost emissions reductions.

 

We will:

  • Continue to take action to reduce our emissions.

  • Build the resilience of our operations, investments, communities and ecosystems to climate change impacts.

  • Recognising their role as policymakers, seek to enhance the global response by engaging with governments.

  • Work in partnership with resource sector peers to improve sectoral performance and increase industry’s influence in policy development to deliver effective long-term regulatory responses.

  • Contribute to reducing emissions from the use of fossil fuels through material investments in low emissions technology.

Previous statement:

Our position on climate change

We accept the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change science, which has found that warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable.

We believe the world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change to the lower end of the IPCC emission scenarios in line with current international agreements, while providing access to reliable and affordable energy to support economic development and improved living standards. We do not prioritise one of these objectives over the other – both are essential to sustainable development.

Under all current plausible scenarios, fossil fuels will continue to be a significant part of the energy mix for decades. Therefore, an acceleration of effort to drive energy efficiency, develop and deploy low-emissions technology and adapt to the impacts of climate change is needed. We believe there should be a price on carbon, implemented in a way that addresses competitiveness concerns and achieves lowest cost emissions reductions.


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