Global warming guides BHP investments

BHP Billiton says the risk of climate change and wild weather influenced its decision to upgrade port developments at Hay Point in Queensland.

BHP ferrous and coal head Marcus Randolph said cyclones were less frequent and less severe when the company’s original terminal was built 30 years ago, the Financial Review reports.

He said the decision to replace a jetty at Hay Point was made after cyclone Yasi hit north Queensland in 2011.

“If cyclone Yasi had hit Hay Point, we would have lost that facility,” he said.

“So it is a recognition that as these cyclones become more severe, we need to have facilities that are more able to withstand them.”

Randolf told the Financial Review BHP was aiming to maintain its greenhouse gas emissions below 2006 levels, and the target would stay even if the carbon tax was repealed.

He said the company’s emissions were now 16 per cent below 2006 levels and $412 million had been invested to meet energy efficiency targets over the last four years.

Looking to the future Randolf said BHP was cautious about investing in thermal coal because energy generators were likely to move toward cleaner options in the long term.

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