November 28, 2013


As would be expected at a shareholder meeting of one of the world’s top carbon polluters, climate change dominated talks at BHP’s AGM held last week in Perth.  With climate concerned shareholders and proxies firing all guns, the first four questions to the floor all related to climate.  

Looking at comments from BHP Jac Nasser it would seem that BHP have this climate problem all sewn up.

“With our history in climate change, this is your dream company to invest in”

– “We are well positioned for a future no one can define”

– “Our strategy is robust under the most extreme climate scenario” 
Although the company was open to commenting on the climate and remained upbeat, scratch the surface just a smidgen and  underneath you’d find business as usual.

While acknowledging the ‘mainstream science’ on climate change BHP isn’t demonstrating any need for mainstream urgent action.

As Ian Dunlop said ,“BHP acknowledges the risks of increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere needs to be addressed. But there’s a disconnect between this stated view and its continued investment in fossil fuels; particularly coal but also unconventional oil and gas.”
With some real gems from CEO Andrew Mackenzie,

“Society chooses the desired energy mix” – just responding to market forces

– “Our portfolio represents a nice blend (yes he really said that) which we’ve chosen based on the science of public opinion and the science of democracy (yes he really said that too)”

we don’t need to wonder too hard where BHP stand on moving forward with real climate action.

However with a firm endorsement to divest from BHP from the company itself,
BHP Billiton will not be investing in wind and solar… that’s just not us….so if you want us to invest in those companies, cash in your shares today.” 
ethically minded shareholders don’t need to ponder for too long what to do with their money.
Unfortunately with over $20 billion of superfund money currently invested in BHP it can be a bit tricky.   But this is when we can all do our bit and let our superfunds know that you don’t want to be invested in a climate dinosaur.