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BHP Billiton goes green? « Previous | |Next »
September 19, 2010

I have to admit that I am rather wary of Marius Kloppers, the CEO of BHP Billiton, embrace of a hybrid carbon tax and suggesting that Australia take the lead on climate change policy. The record of this transnational on climate change and environmental protection is not good.


Kloppers' intervention into the climate change policy debate about putting a price on carbon is a hybrid because Klopper's suggestion involves both a levy on carbon with compensating mechanisms for industries affected, plus a limited trading scheme in order to reduce consumption of energy produced by coal fired station and to encourage low carbon alternatives.

Why this now? To take the lead and shape the climate change policy of the Gillard Government so that it favours BHP Billiton is my best guess. The ALP is not going to lead on this issue (it was on the backburner since Labor's old emissions trading scheme, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, was dead) and so the policy on climate change will be driven by both the Independents and The Greens after July 2011.

What we have is a preemptive strike by Kloppers. He is dealing BHP Billiton into the policy game on climate change at the early stage. The onus is now back on the Gillard Government, which was willing to bury the issue in a special committee.Kloppers' intervention means that the issue has to be resolved.

The Liberals continue to chant about a great big tax on business and consumers and completely reject any movement to setting a carbon price. Even though the ground has shifted Abbott still talks in terms of the great big tax on everything. Unlike BHP Billiton, is not looking beyond coal, and he looks to be increasingly at a odds with big business. His position remains one of ferocious opposition.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:11 PM | | Comments (8)


Its a bit like when the psychiatrist pretends to be on your side when your standing on the edge of the building......if you ask me.

It seems like a trap for the Labor Party. The mining industry were in favour of a profits-based tax until someone actually tried to implement it.

Like john, I'm suspicious. What's the chance of a deal whereby the mining tax is abandoned in favour of a carbon tax - which can be designed to be a burden on households, not miners?

Kloppers wants a system that is trade friendly; ie., rebating emission costs for trade-exposed products during the transition to a global system.

I thought that the mining industry saw the Greens as avenging angels with an anti-development agenda. For the Business Council of Australia the Greens are extremists who oppose the long-term economic reform agenda to ensure that Australia has a robust, open and vibrant economy.

Remember that technology leads business solutions.

Here is a unique period in human existence where social policy, technology & natural resources merge to provide a new business forum & an opportunity for those innovators that remain amongst our community.

Marius Kloppers better than most understands that in prospect & has clearly taken time to confront the reality of our time. It will be interesting indeed to see what emerges!

Government has a dilemma here, as do the Greens, which is to confront the reality & lead, not undermine such a wonderful opportunity for human kind for pure political gain.

If we can rise to the challenge it will be because we avoid vested interest & give those "rare diamond" innovators a chance.

President Kennedy made us all take note when he challenged us to recognize what we do for our country & near 50years on we should also ask what we can do for our world & our nation.

Kloppers may want the price of carbon to be set, but he does not want his company to have to pay it.

My opinion on reflection is that is a very smart move.
It puts a bit of stability on the share price and sends a message to shareholders and potential shareholders that BHP has the ability to absorb all these changes and still go forward and make money on present and future projects.
The alternative would be to lambast everything and say we will fight everything could cause the opposite.
The reality of the present situation is that we don't really know what is going to get up and what isn't.
Yep....good move.