Mining giant criticised for not matching BP’s promise and using a low-energy 2020 as a reference point for emissions reduction.
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A shareholder group has panned BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)’s climate change plan.
The mining giant this week revealed its plans to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% from 2020 to 2030.
Investor advocacy body Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) stated BHP needs to “go back to the drawing board”.
“BHP fails to deliver any meaningful outcomes in terms of actual emissions reduction. It needs to try harder,” said ACCR climate director Dan Gocher.
“BHP should be aiming for a 40-60% reduction in all of its emissions by 2030.”
While BHP chief executive Mike Henry claimed the targets are in line with the Paris Agreement, the ACCR didn’t share that view.
Gocher said “most climate scientists” would also disagree.
“BHP is… cynically using FY2020 as a baseline, rather than a historical, lower number,” he said.
“BHP may have finally given up on thermal coal but it and its industry associations are still betting heavily on gas — which is proven to have the same, if not worse emissions than coal once fugitive methane emissions are factored in.”
BP did it, so why can’t BHP?
The method of reducing emissions was also criticised.
“BHP continues to rely on unproven and horribly expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) to decarbonise its Scope 3 emissions, rather than simply leaving fossil fuels in the ground.”
British energy conglomerate BP plc (LON: BP) promised last month that it would no longer explore for oil and gas in new countries. Gocher said that this showed it’s possible.
“Anything less than a commitment from BHP to cap then reduce production of fossil fuels over the coming decade is simply inadequate,” he said.
“BHP’s US$400 climate investment program hasn’t changed since July 2019, and is dwarfed by the $US8 to US$9 billion it was planning to spend on oil and gas projects before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.”
BHP also announced that executive remuneration would be tied to the delivery of its climate plan.
“We must focus on what we can control inside our business, and work with others to help them reduce emissions from the things that they can control,” Henry said.
“Our actions must be of substance.”
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