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BHP opposes Minerals Council of Australia's war on activist rights

Author: Michael Slezak, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 8 November 2017

BHP has said it will not support the Minerals Council’s bid to strip environmental groups of their ability to advocate for policy change.The surprising move comes amid increasing pressure on [BHP] to distance itself from the Minerals Council [MCA], which has taken a hardline position against...credible action on climate change. The government will soon table a bill aimed at limiting the ability of any charity to use donations raised from overseas on advocacy in Australia. The MCA has argued that environmental charities should be forced to commit 90% of...resources to...environmental remediation..., leaving only 10% for political advocacy. It made the suggestion in a submission to a Treasury inquiry... BHP has faced a shareholder resolution...calling on the company to leave the MCA... It said BHP risked reputational damage by being a member... [R]esolution...was supported by...Calpers... HSBC bank and the Church of England... BHP... [agreed] to review its membership of the MCA... BHP [wrote] to...environmental groups...saying it does not support limits on [their] engage in advocacy... [Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsiblity] said: "Until BHP withdraws from the MCA, it should expect to be held to account for bankrolling [its] activities.” BHP and the MCA declined to comment.

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Related companies: BHP Billiton HSBC