Dear Mr Henry,
Congratulations on your new role as BHP’s CEO.
We feel encouraged by reports suggesting that you intend continuing BHP’s progress in response to fast evolving community expectations that companies take responsibility for their impacts on communities and the natural world as together we face terrifying, converging climate and mass extermination crises.*
However, your senior role in ecocidal industry organisations that are aggressively meddling in our democratic process in order to prevent Australia from rapidly transitioning to a socially and ecologically sustainable economy – namely, the Minerals Council of Australia, Coal21 and the Business Council of Australia – give us huge cause for concern. With Australia on fire and facing unprecedented hot and dry conditions on all fronts as we head into what is expected to be a blistering summer, Coal21’s planned $4-$5million propaganda push is morally reprehensible.
As you are likely aware, climate change is a huge concern for most Australians, particularly young people who are aware that they will bear the brunt of the appalling failures of leadership of today’s seemingly craven self-serving policy makers. Meanwhile, defending the environment is becoming extremely dangerous, particularly for those on the frontline of resource extraction, as well as extreme weather, fires, floods and droughts – all symptoms of the climate emergency. Amnesty International estimates that three environment defenders are dying every week for courageously protecting the natural world that all life depends on.
Given that closed loop, socially and ecologically sustainable clean (zero emission) energy alternatives and collaborative modes of production and ownership have been in development for many decades, we feel confident that you are aware that BHP could naturally drawdown the 9.8 billion tonnes of legacy carbon that the company is responsible for. Moreover, BHP is extraordinarily well placed to help fast track nature based greenhouse gas mitigation projects. And given that BHP has made zero investments in renewable energy, there are obviously a lot of opportunities for the ‘Big Australian’ in this ‘sunburnt country’ as well as elsewhere in the world.
We know that to achieve genuinely positive change that is best for All, progressive leaders rely on the wider community to demand that they evolve. So we are here to give you the encouragement you need to rapidly shift BHP away from extractive and exploitative business practices towards collaborative and creative, socially and ecologically sustainable modes of operating that will benefit All.
We know that humans can be incredibly creative and collaborative; truly ingenious in remarkable ways that improve conditions for All. More than at any time in human history, for the sake of all life on this precious planet, we need humans to step up and be truly great.
It is in this spirit that Climate Guardians will continue delivering messages to you, to BHP, and to your colleagues, whether they be decision makers, financiers or peers in the mining industry who (along with forestry, agri-business, and chemical companies) have historically become obscenely wealthy from wreaking unimaginable damage and suffering.
And please know that we would welcome the opportunity to discuss the multitude of opportunities a company like yours has to partner with scientists, sustainability technicians, local community leaders, and certified B investors that balance purpose and profit, amongst other things, to begin the mammoth task of undoing BHP’s terrible legacy of damage, and to position your company to enable All to prosper in the 21st century.
With hope and peace,
The Climate Guardians
* Please note that this is not a mass extinction because unlike previous events in our Earth’s history, the consequences of ecocidal industry practices have been well understood since mid last century.