Following recent positive developments, such as China’s announcement that it will introduce a national emissions trading scheme in 2017, and more countries including Brazil submitting their provisional contributions to emissions reductions to the Paris agreement, the world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton has released a climate change report.
BHP’s Climate Change Portfolio Analysis calls for a strong outcome from the Paris climate negotiations, emphasises the importance of carbon pricing, and outlines the implications for its asset portfolio of various international climate action scenarios.
Australian independent, not-for-profit, secular, community-based aid and development organisation Oxfam Australia has urged other businesses to follow BHP’s example, to do research and publish such analyses.
“BHP Billiton’s disclosure should send an emphatic signal to governments as they work to finalise a new global climate agreement. The message is clear: if a strong and effective international agreement is reached, then business will make the adjustments necessary to help keep global warming below 2C,” said Oxfam Australia’s climate change policy advisor Kelly Dent in a media release to Australian Manufacturing.
According to Ms Dent, BHP’s report failed to adequately acknowledge the rapidly changing energy landscape.
“It is renewable energy, not coal, that is working for communities around the world – from solar energy in the Pacific to new ways of powering Africa, China and India,” she said.
“We are urging our new Prime Minister to change direction from the previous myopic focus on coal to acknowledging the increasing action being taken across all sections of society, including big business.”
Oxfam warns that business and government need to do much more in order to respond to the global climate crisis, and that the world must rapidly phase out use of fossil fuels.
“Meeting the twin challenges of eliminating poverty and tackling global climate change will require an ongoing transformation in the way the world produces energy and far greater support to vulnerable countries with adapting to climate impacts,” Ms Dent said.
“Nonetheless, this is another encouraging sign of momentum ahead of Paris.”