Tuesday 23 July 2019

BHP boss announces $400m to tackle ‘existential risk of climate change’

BHP boss announces $400m to tackle ‘existential risk of climate change’

Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of mining giant BHP, has announced $400 million (£320.6m) to tackle what he described as the existential risk of climate change.

During a speech in the UK, he pledged the firm will use the investment over the next five years to reduce its direct and indirect emissions, to fund new responses to global warming and develop technologies and strategies such as carbon capture and storage, direct air capture, renewables and reforestation.

In the talk, he endorsed drastic action to combat the issue of climate change, which he said was “indisputable”.

He noted carbon pricing was not enough to combat the threat of mass extinctions and major rises in sea level, suggesting a coordinated global response would be required, with no single solution immediately apparent.

The boss claimed even electric vehicles, renewable infrastructure and replacing single-use plastics have trade-offs and can cause environmental impacts elsewhere.

The firm produced 16.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions in the 2017/18 fiscal year, a figure which is dwarfed by its indirect emissions over the period, totalling 596.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Mr Mackenzie said: "Previous events when carbon dioxide was added to the atmosphere more slowly and sometimes in similar amounts show us what may happen if we do not act. These events coincided with mass extinctions and major rises in sea level.

"The evidence is abundant: global warming is indisputable. The planet will survive. Many species may not."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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