COLUMN-Where BHP goes on climate change, will others follow? – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – July 29, 2019)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, July 29 (Reuters) – BHP Group may just have set the template for how resource companies are going to deal with the challenge of climate change, even if some of its competitors would prefer a course of more talk and less action.

The world’s biggest miner announced on July 23 that it will invest $400 million over five years to reduce emissions. While this move is both laudable from the perspective of combating climate change and sensible from the point of making BHP a more attractive purchase for ethical investors, the real game-changer is BHP’s move to include emissions beyond what it directly produces.

The Anglo-Australian miner is the world’s largest exporter of coking coal used in steel-making, the third-biggest iron ore miner, and is also a significant producer of copper, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

BHP Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said the company would be looking to address Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. “We won’t stop at the mine gate. We will also increase our focus on Scope 3 emissions,” he said in a speech in London last week.

Scope 1 and 2 cover an organisation’s direct and indirect emissions generated by its own activities and the power it buys to run its operations.

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