Saturday, 23 October, 2021

BHP shareholders strongly endorse climate plan as chief says ‘it’s a step forward’


London: BHP shareholders have offered a resounding endorsement of the Australian mining giant’s climate transition strategy, as chief executive officer Mike Henry doubles down on his doubts about so-called “green steel”.

A vote at BHP’s annual general meeting in London on Thursday morning local-time secured 83 per cent support for the climate change roadmap – a much stronger outcome than the knife-edge result some analysts had predicted.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry addresses the company’s AGM in London.

BHP chief executive Mike Henry addresses the company’s AGM in London.

The miner has some of the industry’s most aggressive emission reduction policies but activists and some proxy advisors are not convinced the proposals are ambitious enough.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Henry conceded there were differing views on the company’s approach to climate change.

“I think that’s just reflective of the dynamic that we find ourselves, the world finds itself in: that there’s a need for urgent action [but] many different views around what that action should look like,” he said.

“But even from those who are saying the plan doesn’t go far enough there’s a recognition that the plan is a step forward, that it’s taking us in the right direction, that it is making some new, significant commitments or goals for BHP and from within the sector.”

Australian shareholders will vote on the climate plan at a meeting in Melbourne on November 11.

BHP has previously set a target to cut direct operational emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade and hit net-zero emissions by 2050. Earlier this month, it announced an expansion of its goals to lower the greenhouse gases generated when customers burn or process the raw materials it sells, known as Scope 3 emissions.

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