BHP Billiton: climate change leader or laggard?

Author: Malini Mehra, on Guardian Sustainable Business Blog (UK), Published on: 19 November 2013

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited BHP Billiton to respond - it did not do so.] BHP defines its purpose as creating long-term shareholder value...But BHP also has a steady line in fossil fuels...The company is no corporate climate sceptic. BHP has long accepted the mainstream science on climate change...In September 2010, the company embarked on a step-change when the former chief executive, Marius Kloppers, publicly called for a carbon price in Australia...Now times are different...In the past few weeks, BHP has supported Australia's Abbot government on its legislation rescinding the country's commitment to a carbon price...According to BHP's submission to the Carbon Price Repeal Taskforce, in essence, the company is objecting to what it sees as a tax on its competitiveness with other jurisdictions and unfair coverage of fugitive emissions...Looking to the future, the company has a choice to make. BHP can join the small but growing leadership group of companies which realise there will be no global consensus on climate action unless they play an active role in forging it. Or BHP can side with the fossil fuel dinosaurs and delay the inevitable leaving disaster and damage in their wake.

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Related companies: BHP Billiton