BHP

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
47%
Organisation Score
45%
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Sector:
Materials
Head​quarters:
Melbourne, Australia

Climate Lobbying Overview: BHP has consistently communicated top-line support for the Paris Agreement and policy action on climate change between 2017-2020. At a more detailed level, however, BHP appears to have lobbied to undermine and weaken ambitious climate policy, including greenhouse gas emissions regulations. At the same time, the company remains a member to many highly oppositional trade groups including the Minerals Council of Australia.

Top-line Messaging about Climate Policy: In its 2020 Global Climate Policy Standards, BHP expressed support for a ‘well below 2°C’ scenario and the need for urgent action on climate change. In the same document, the company appeared to retract its previous support for the use of Kyoto carryover credits to meet Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. In September 2020, the company stated on its website that it believed the world must ‘pursue the Paris Agreement goals with increased levels of national and global ambition’.

The company's 2020 disclosures also state support for a technology-neutral policy framework that includes a "complementary set of measures" focusing on a price on carbon, support for low-emissions technology, and measures to build climate resilience. This position has been reaffirmed in messaging from the group's leadership in 2019. However, in consultations submitted to Australian policymakers on climate-motivated policy in 2018 and 2019, BHP has stressed that "Government intervention should be limited to where required to address demonstrated market failure."

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In contrast to its top line messaging, at a more detailed level, communications from BHP appear to undermine ambitious climate policy. BHP appears to have lobbied negatively on GHG emissions standards in Australia. In 2018, the company supported weakening the Safeguard Mechanism through supporting production-based, annually updated emissions baselines, which would reduce overall emissions reduction. In 2019, BHP did not support the Western Australian EPA’s greenhouse gas assessment guidance, cautioning that state-based policy should align with weaker national emissions reduction targets and arguing the guidance should be flexible rather than prescriptive.

BHP has also lobbied against legislation to support the growth of renewable energy in Australia, advocating in 2017 for a repeal of state-based Australian renewables targets and not supporting post-2020 national renewables targets. In 2020, while BHP has not lobbied positively on renewable energy policies, its Global Climate Standards Policy specified that its lobby groups should not advocate against policies regarding the deployment of renewable energy.

Positioning on Energy Transition: BHP appears to have a mixed position on the energy mix, as it appears to support low-emissions technology as well as a continued and significant role for fossil fuels. In 2020, BHP stated support for policies that ‘aim to support the development and deployment of pre-commercial low emissions technologies’. However, this support appears to be on the condition that policies are technology and commodity neutral. Additionally, at the 2019 Financial Times Climate for Change conference, CEO Mike Henry appeared to criticize electrification and renewables using arguments about full-cycle carbon footprints in support of a technology-neutral ‘all of the above’ approach. BHP appears to support a significant and continued role for fossil fuels in the energy mix going forward, including deepwater oil and advantaged gas in 2019. BHP also appears to support a decreasing yet continued role for coal, calling for a ’balanced’ and ‘gradual’ move towards different energy sources in March 2019.

Industry Association Governance: BHP has disclosed regular reviews of its industry association memberships since 2017. The first review concluded there were material differences between its position on climate and the World Coal Association, resulting in BHP quitting the group in April 2018. However, while BHP also found material differences with highly oppositional lobby groups, including US Chamber of Commerce and Minerals Council of Australia, it has elected to retain its memberships and directly engage these groups on their climate and energy policy positions. BHP’s 2020 review also outlined detailed actions to be taken at four ‘partly aligned’ associations: American Petroleum Institute, Mining Association of Canada, NSW Minerals Council, and US Chamber of Commerce. However, BHP retains membership to these organizations as well as other highly oppositional groups including Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, Minerals Council of Australia).

In October 2020, BHP also suspended its membership to the Queensland Resources Council in response to an anti-Greens advertising campaign in the run-up to the state election.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures EU Register
Communication of Climate Science
1 1 NA 2 1 1 2 NA
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
0 0 NA 0 1 0 0 NA
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 NS NA 0 NS NS NS NA
Support of UN Climate Process
1 1 NS 1 0 1 2 NA
Transparency on Legislation
0 NA 1 NA NA NA NS NA
Carbon Tax
0 NS 0 0 -1 0 NS NA
Emissions Trading
0 NS 0 NS 1 NS 1 NA
Energy and Resource Efficiency
NS NS 1 -1 NS NS NS NA
Renewable Energy
NS NS NS -2 -1 -2 NS NA
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
0 0 -1 -1 0 0 -1 NA
GHG Emission Regulation
0 1 NS 0 -1 0 NS NA
Disclosure on Relationships
0 NS -1 NA NA NA NS NA
Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
60%
 
60%
 
43%
 
43%
 
67%
 
67%
 
36%
 
36%
 
49%
 
49%
 
46%
 
46%
 
22%
 
22%
 
37%
 
37%
 
41%
 
41%
 
23%
 
23%
 
75%
 
75%
 
45%
 
45%
 
47%
 
47%
 
24%
 
24%
 
31%
 
31%
 
37%
 
37%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.