BHP Billiton Says It Will Work With Australia on Climate-Change Policies

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, will work with Australia’s government on climate change policies as Prime Minister Julia Gillard pushes to impose a price on carbon emissions.

BHP is “committed to working with governments on the design of effective policies to help reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere,” Marius Kloppers, chief executive officer of the Melbourne-based company, said today in an industry briefing in Sydney. “Our preferred solution is the introduction of an international climate framework, which includes binding commitments by all developed and major developing economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Australia, seeking to curb greenhouse gas emissions, appointed Greg Combet, a former union leader and coal mining engineer, as climate change minister this week. Gillard has agreed to establish a climate change committee to move toward introducing a penalty for carbon emissions.

“We believe local actions that are eventually harmonized into unified global action is a more likely outcome than an immediate broadly supported global initiative,” Kloppers said. “We also believe that such a global initiative will eventually come, and when it does Australia will need to have acted ahead of it to maintain its competitiveness.”

Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers speaking in Sydney. Close

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers speaking in Sydney.

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Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Officer Marius Kloppers speaking in Sydney.

BHP gained 0.3 percent to A$39.17 at 2:01 p.m. Sydney time on the Australian stock exchange.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Keenan in Melbourne at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

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