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BHP Billiton’s long-awaited climate change policy is weaker than the commitments made by many other leading international companies.
“As a major international company BHP Billiton should be providing corporate and public leadership on climate change, not disappointingly weak policies,” said ACF executive director Don Henry.
“BHP Billiton has not adopted any targets for gross reductions in its emissions, putting it behind other international companies like BP, Alcoa and Dupont, which have all committed to absolute reductions of 10 per cent (BP), 25 per cent (Alcoa) and 65 per cent (Dupont) by 2010.
“Instead of setting a target to reduce emissions BHP Billiton has set an ‘energy intensity reduction target’ of 13 per cent, which allows the company’s emissions to continue to increase so long as the company continues to grow.
“The weak energy intensity target of 13 per cent puts the Big Australian well behind the Chinese Government, which has an energy intensity reduction target of 20 per cent for the period 2005 to 2010.
“We would urge BHP Billiton to play a more public and constructive role in the climate change policy debate in Australia,” Mr Henry said.
BHP Billiton’s submission to the Prime Minister’s emissions trading task group said of an Australian scheme: “ideally this would include participation in the CDM [the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism] market”.
“The only way for Australia to participate in the CDM market is for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. BHP Billiton should be urging bi-partisan support for Kyoto ratification, not burying the idea in submissions," Mr Henry said.
“The $300 million over five years for low emissions technology development represents an investment of around half of one per cent of the company’s annual profit – not the level of commitment Australians would expect from one of the country’s major corporate players.”