BHP offloads coal assets to a climate laggard
The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is commenting on BHP’s divestment of 80% interest in BHP Mitsui Coal (BMC) to Stanmore SMC Holdings Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stanmore Resources Ltd, announced today.
Dan Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“Once again, BHP is flogging off fossil fuel assets to a company that has repeatedly proven its disregard for the Paris Agreement.
“BHP claims that Stanmore Coal “supports Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement”, which is next to meaningless given that experts continue to express alarm at how insufficient Australia’s actions are to limiting global temperature increases to around 1.5°C.
“Stanmore Coal has not publicly supported the Paris Agreement, it has not set emissions reduction targets, and it is unlikely to wind down the BMC assets on a pathway consistent with limiting global warming to well below 2°C.
“The climate change section on Stanmore Coal’s website is empty, which tells you how it will continue to cling to coal assets despite the world moving on around them. Stanmore dedicated barely half a page to climate change risks in its 2020 Annual Report.
“The BMC assets include several planned new coal mines - Bee Creek, Nebo West and Wards Well - and in all likelihood, Stanmore will seek to develop these projects despite the IEA and the IPCC concluding that we simply cannot afford any new coal projects if we are to maintain a safe climate.
“Rather than make the hard decisions to wind these assets down, BHP is running for the door.
“Along with the proposed BHP Petroleum merger with Woodside, these are not the actions of a climate leader. BHP should retain these assets and decline production in keeping with a 1.5°C pathway, in accordance with just transition principles.
“Along with BHP’s underwhelming Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions targets, this is just another reason why investors should not support BHP’s climate transition plan at their AGM on 11 November.
“The music will soon stop in this game of musical chairs for fossil fuel assets. Investors will increasingly demand that companies assess the climate plans and intentions of the buyers rather than selling to just anyone.”
ACCR’s analysis of BHP’s Climate Transition Action Plan is available here.