Conservative Liberal MPs have attacked mining group BHP for speaking out against climate change and pushing its customers to reduce their greenhouse emissions.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly said BHP had drunk the climate change “Kool-aid” in an effort to impress left-wing activists.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly. Picture: AAP
“It suits BHP to deter competitors from entering the market and open up new fossil fuels. So it’s not surprising they take a political position that deters entry to others,” he said.
“They demonise [coal] so no one else enters the market.”
Liberal senator Eric Abetz said BHP should “stick to their knitting”. “They should be leaving public policy and things of that nature to those that are actually elected to try and pursue it.”
Energy Minister Angus Taylor supported the landmark speech by BHP chief executive Andrew MacKenzie, where the company outlined $569 million in spending to develop new technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, and those of its customers.
“Andrew MacKenzie has rightly pointed out ‘that any transition to a lower carbon world should look to avoid major increases in the price and unreliability of energy and materials’. We agree,” Mr Taylor said.
“The government is taking a sensible and balanced approach to reduce global emissions and meet our international obligations. We are playing our part to ensure a healthy environment for future generations, but we are doing that with policies that will not wreck our economy.”
Opposition energy spokesman Mark Butler said the speech showed the gap between the government and business on climate change. “The speech by the CEO of BHP just further demonstrates that the seriousness with which the corporate sector, investors and regulators are taking climate change is growing, while the Morrison government continues its fig leaf approach, which is seeing Australia’s carbon pollution continue to rise,” he said.
By Greg Brown