Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gross hypocrisy and BHP Billiton

The London Mining Network has published this piece on BHP Billiton's London AGM. The report reveals the huge gulf between BHP Billiton's rhetoric about corporate social responsibility  and sustainable development and the reality of its actions on the ground that destroys communities, local economies, environments and livelihoods. 

There is no better example of BHP's hypocrisy than its stance on climate change. CEO Marius Kloper says that BHP  accepts the science and believes that greenhouse gas emissions need to be limited so that the increase in average atmospheric temperatures can be held at two degrees above the pre-industrial average. 

But BHP Billiton believes that it is up society and governments to decide on the way forward. (That is unless society and governments come up with a strategy unacceptable to BHP, in which case they will oppose  and destroy it like they did the Rudd Government proposal to introduce a Super Profits tax here in Australia).

BHP will continue to ramp up its plans to increase production of coal, oil and gas in the hope that currently unavailable technical solutions might one day help limit the effects of burning them. And BHP claims that its increased investment in uranium mining will be beneficial for global warming. 

The report concludes with this:
"BHP Billiton sees itself as indispensable to the prosperity of the world. Millions of the world’s poor are apparently relying on it to help them embrace the urbanised life of high consumption which it believes to be their destiny. Those who have a different view – like Indigenous communities in Kalimantan or small farmers in Colombia – have to be moved out of the way. BHP Billiton plans to continue mining, burning and irradiating its way towards a vision of the future that its board finds inspiring and which many of its critics reject as apocalyptic".
 A protest against BHP  in Perth is to be held at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre on Tuesday 16th November between 10.100am-2pm.

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