21 December 2017

Major coal company committed to climate change breaks ties with industry groups

BHP Billiton, a British-Australian mining company has announced it will withdraw its membership from energy associations which don’t hold an active position on climate and energy policy, emphasising its commitment to take responsible action against global warming.

The mining company released a report where it reviewed the stance of all the industry associations where it currently is a member of, to check if the company’s values on the fight against climate change are reflected on the associations’ core strategy.

“As a major producer and consumer of fossil fuels, we recognise our responsibility to take action by focusing on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions; adapting to the physical impacts of climate change; accelerating the development and deployment of low emissions technology; testing and building the resilience of our portfolio; and working with others, including academia, industry and governments, to enhance the global response to climate change”, reads the report.

It revealed that 21 of them hold an active position in the issue, but it raised concerns over three associations: the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the US Chamber of Commerce and the World Coal Association.

Therefore, BHP Billiton announced its plans to exit the World Coal Association over the next year and warned the other two.  

More specifically, BHP will communicate the differences it identified with MCA and if the body doesn’t actively adapt, it will commence its withdrawal process within 12 months. Differences include MCA’s highlighting of costs at the expense of emissions reduction and the company’s refrain from portfolio diversification to reduce coal dependency.

Regarding the US Chamber of Commerce, it will consider its future membership before March 2018. The company claimed the fundamentally different views they share on the Paris Agreement, citing Donald Trump’s questioning of its efficacy.

Geoff Healy, Chief External Affairs Officer, said: “This review makes clear the principles for our ongoing participation in industry bodies. While we won’t always agree with our industry associations, we will continue to call out material differences where they exist and we will take action where necessary, as we have done today”. 

Related Articles

blog comments powered by Disqus