Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

BHP to quit global coal lobby group over climate change

Global miner BHP Billiton said on Thursday it had made a final decision to leave the World Coal Association (WCA) over differences on climate change but would remain a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

BHP has largely quit mining coal for power plants, but is the world’s largest exporter of coal for steel making. It said in December it had taken a preliminary decision to withdraw from the WCA, pending a full review.

The miner came under pressure from Australian green groups last year to leave any industry associations with policies that fail to match the company’s support of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Story continues below advertisement

“In light of the material difference identified by the review and the narrow range of activities of benefit to BHP from membership, BHP has reached a final view that it will cease membership of the WCA,” BHP said in a statement.

The WCA said it was disappointed with BHP’s decision, especially given that BHP had been involved in developing the association’s position on energy and climate change.

“The WCA’s position has always been clear; we support a balanced approach that integrates climate and energy policy that works towards a low emission future,” said Benjamin Sporton, chief executive of the Word Coal Association.

“We believe a balanced approach should not exclude high-efficiency, low-emissions power generation and carbon capture and storage,” Mr. Sporton said.

BHP said that while it had identified material differences in its stand with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest U.S. business lobby, there were other benefits from the activities with the group.

“On the basis of these broader benefits, and in light of the Chamber’s willingness to engage further on climate and energy issues through an invitation extended to BHP to join its Energy and Environment Committee, BHP has determined to remain a member of the Chamber,” BHP said.

BHP said it would also continue to work with the Minerals Council of Australia in relation to its updated Energy and Climate Policy Position.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.