BHP and its Trade Associations on Climate

An InfluenceMap Briefing
December 2017
  • The review and public disclosure by BHP represent perhaps the most comprehensive yet by a major fossil fuel production company on its trade associations and alignment with their positions on climate.

  • The methodology employed by BHP to determine its future engagements with trade associations is original and appears to be unique to the sector, at least within the public domain, and could be a significant contributor to best practice going forward for fossil fuel producers and beyond.

  • However, BHP appears to have selectively applied its method, leaving out key trade associations with which it appears seriously misaligned. A prime example is the American Petroleum Institute, which continues to suggest that, regarding climate science, there are “scientists on both sides of this debate" a position clearly at odds with that of BHP.

  • There also appear to be less serious but still significant differences between the stated policy ambitions of BHP and those of the Business Council of Australia, for example on ambitious GHG emission reduction measures for the nation, and the Mining Association of Canada. It also appears to inconsistently choose which of the trade association policies it compares itself to.

As a global watchdog on corporate lobbying on climate, we are encouraged by BHP's disclosure and pledges for future action. However, there remain significant inconsistencies in its results, such as leaving out the American Petroleum Institute from its watch list. We look forward to these being addressed in future iterations and BHP's peers following its lead.

Dylan Tanner

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