Mining giant BHP is said to be reconsidering its membership with the Minerals Council of Australia, after the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility pointed out the MCA and BHP have very different views on climate change.
The ACCR put out a statement this week expressing its concerns with BHP’s commitment to “not make political contributions” in the fight against climate change reforms, despite being a member of the Minerals Council of Australia, as well as the Australian Petroleum of Producers and Explorers Association (APPEA), the NSW Minerals Council, and the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network (AIGN).
According to London-based think tank Influence Map, APPEA spent $4 million of its member-sourced funding on ‘obstructive climate lobbying’.
Meanwhile, “the MCA counts as one of its principal recent achievements the repeal of the carbon tax which had successfully reduced Australian emissions, [and] the MCA was a member of the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance which spent $9.2 million in a successful campaign opposing the carbon tax.”
The ACCR also said the NSW Minerals Council is a significant political donor, and the AIGN has been described as having objectives aimed at “the prevention of any constraints on greenhouse gas emissions”.
BHP reportedly agreed to review its position in the MCA at its annual meeting.
“The MCA has demonstrated a pattern of vociferous and influential lobbying which has obstructed progress towards restoring stability to Australia’s energy markets and taking evidence-based action on climate change,” ACCR boss Brynn O’Brien reportedly told AFR.
“Obviously BHP understands as well as its investors that membership of the MCA comes with profound risks to shareholder value.
“We are pleased that BHP has acknowledged these risks.”