BHP Billiton will tomorrow announce an all-time Australian record interim profit of around $8 billion for the six months to December. Last week Rio Tinto declared a record profit of just under $10 billion for 2006.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union national president Tony Maher said that in light of BHPB’s half-yearly record profit of nearly $A8 billion and Rio Tinto’s $10 billion, “the spending by both companies on initiatives to reduce global warming is pathetic”
“BHP Billiton is committed to a measly $10 million a year to fund research for clean coal in Australia while Rio plans only a miserable $7.4 million,” Maher said.
“It is an absolute disgrace that both companies pay their directors more than they spend on clean coal. Last year BHP Billiton paid its directors $41 million while the last figure available for Rio’s directors is $23 million in December 2005.”
Maher is writing to the CEOs of both companies demanding a substantial increased commitment to spending on clean coal initiatives and other corporate measures to reduce energy use.
“These two companies are Australia’s biggest coal producers and exporters. They are also the most profitable companies in Australia’s history,” Maher said.
“We are telling the directors what should be bleeding obvious to them – there is no future for the coal industry unless we solve the CO2 emission problems.”
On both company websites, BHPB and Rio Tinto list sustainable development as one of their core values.