BHP shareholders seek consistent climate policy, submit resolutions

(Reuters) – BHP Group shareholders have sought inclusion of climate sensitivity analysis in financial statements from 2023, and requested consistency on climate policy, the world’s biggest listed miner and an advocacy firm said on Tuesday.

The demands form a part of resolutions submitted to BHP by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) on behalf of shareholders, asking the miner to “proactively advocate for Australian policy settings that are consistent with the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.”

Shareholders also requested that from fiscal 2023, notes to BHP’s financial statements show a climate sensitivity analysis, including a scenario aligned with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

The resolutions come as companies globally face pressure to adopt climate plans, with votes being closely watched even if the resolutions are non-binding. BHP targets net zero emissions by 2050, but it has faced pushbacks from shareholders on concerns that some of its long-term plans lack detail.

On its part, the miner has also stopped short of setting a target in view of uncertainty over how technology will develop.

“BHP remains a member of industry associations that have a toxic influence on Australia’s climate policy. This resolution does not let BHP off the hook from also having to constrain the advocacy of those associations,” said Harriet Kater, Climate Lead (Australia) at ACCR.

“BHP needs to move beyond its industry associations by positively advocating for ambitious policy,” they said.

The resolutions will be put forth for consideration at BHP’s 2022 annual general meeting.

(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)