BHP remains a member of some of the most influentially oppositional industry associations on climate policy in Australia. These groups include the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), The Queensland Resources Council, and the NSW Minerals Council. These groups continue to conduct extensive and influential adverse climate advocacy, including through advertising and political lobbying. BHP is also a member of Coal21, an industry fund which lobbies for coal through advertising and political engagement.

This advocacy runs counter to BHP’s stated climate policies and objectives, and undermines Australia’s commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.

ACCR is calling on the company to reassess its relationship with these groups.


2019 Resolution

Our recent resolution has been accepted by the company and will be heard at BHP’s upcoming London AGM on Thursday 17 October 2019, as well as its Sydney AGM, on Thursday 7 November 2019.

The resolution was co-filed with:

  • Vision Super (Australia), a not-for-profit community super fund with around 100,000 members
  • MP Pension (Denmark), a member-owned pension fund with over 130,000 members
  • Church of England Pensions Board (UK), providing retirement housing and pensions, set by the Church of England, for those who have served or worked for the Church, with over 38,000 beneficiaries
  • ACTIAM (Netherlands), one of the top ten Dutch funds
  • Grok Ventures (Australia), the private investment company of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes

Together the co-filing group represents around $140bn of assets under management.

The resolution represents the ‘next generation’ of shareholder proposal to companies about adverse-climate lobbying. It moves beyond conventional calls for a review of industry association advocacy, to a recommendation that memberships of industry associations be suspended where these groups’ recent advocacy demonstrates an overall inconsistency with the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Supporting documents:


History of engagement

ACCR has been engaging with BHP on the issue of adverse climate advocacy by its industry associations since 2017.

In September 2017, ACCR filed a resolution to the BHP board, requesting that it “commission a comprehensive review of [BHP’s] positions, oversight and processes related to direct and indirect public policy advocacy on energy and climate change”. The resolution also called for the termination of paid membership of industry bodies that have demonstrated a pattern of advocacy on policy issues at odds with the company’s positions, and the disclosure of all payments by BHP for direct or indirect lobbying relating to climate and energy policy. The resolution received 9% of the vote at BHP’s November 2017 AGM, and in response BHP made a commitment to conduct a limited review of its memberships.

BHP announced their decision to exit the World Coal Association but to remain with the U.S Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The USCC has a long history of opposing measures to tackle climate change. However, since the Review, many of BHP’s Australian industry associations have continued to advocate for policies which are misaligned with BHP’s own climate and energy policy positions.


Media coverage