Fresh on the back of a shareholder action that forced BHP to give the Minerals Council of one year to end its hardline coal advocacy, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) is recruiting shareholders to put a similar proposal to Rio Tinto.
BHP investors holding AU$7 billion of shares have called on BHP to end its funding of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) based on conflict between the mining giant and the industry body over climate and energy policy.
Commenting on a report that BHP will not support the Minerals Council of Australia’s bid to strip environmental groups of their ability to advocate for policy change, Executive Director of Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) Brynn O’Brien said:
“BHP remains the Minerals Council of Australia’s biggest funder. While this is the case, it should expect to be held to account by shareholders for using their money to bankroll the MCA’s advocacy efforts, including their obstructive and misleading public policy positions on climate change and energy, and their attacks on civil society.
“MCA has been a toxic drag on Australian public debate and democracy. They have played a leading role in this country’s last decade of climate policy failure.
“Proper scrutiny of corporate payments to coal lobbyists would advance both local and global progress on climate and energy policy. BHP shareholders have an opportunity to get this work underway at BHP’s AGM by voting in favour of ACCR’s resolution.”
The ACCR BHP shareholder resolution will be heard at BHP’s Australian AGM on 16 November. It calls for the termination of paid membership of industry bodies like the MCA that have demonstrated a pattern of advocacy on policy issues at odds with the company’s positions over the period 2012 to the present day.
View the resolutions and supporting statements with references here.
Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to drop his Chief Scientist’s key recommendation of a Clean Energy Target is another win for the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the biggest funder of which is BHP,” said Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director of Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR).
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US will vote in favour of shareholder resolutions proposed by the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR). CalPERS assets at the end of the fiscal year stood at roughly AU$430 billion.