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Global Coal Group To Be Left By B.H.P. Billiton As It Acknowledges Climate Change

Global Coal Group To Be Left By B.H.P. Billiton As It Acknowledges Climate Change
After acknowledging that there is an increasing impetus towards climate change, one of the world’s largest coal companies announced that due to its environmental stances, it would ultimately opt out a major industry group.
The cropping up of differences in climate change and energy policies with the World Coal Association, an international lobbying group was the reason that B.H.P. Billiton is planning to out of it. BHP Billiton is a British-Australian mining company.  Announcing this in a report, the company said that because of Trump’s decision to walk out of the Paris climate accord, it would also reconsider the membership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
This is a reflection of the think line that large mining companies have to tread on as they try and balance profits and social and environmental awareness. While large investments in renewable energy have been made by Norway’s Statoil and France’s Total, oil major BP announced a  $200 million investment for acquisition of large stake in a solar power developer last week.
The withdrawal of the Trump administration from the Paris agreement was mentioned in the report even though it was very carefully worded.
“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,” Geoff Healy, the company’s chief external affairs officer, said in a statement.
BHP plans to pull out of the group on March 31 next year but will allow the industry body a chance to respond to its concerns before that date. A similar reaction would also be sought from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce before official withdrawal.
The World Coal Association said it was “disappointed” and added that “we do not feel that the report accurately reflects the views of the WCA.” It said that it had “always supported a balanced approach that integrates climate and energy policy” and that it hoped “to be able to continue working with B.H.P. on this basis in the future,” in a statement.
In the report BHP noted that “the warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable” and it was reflective of the definite stance of the company on climate change.
In Australia, the relationship that the company has with the Minerals Council of Australia would also be reviewed, the company also announced. The Minerals Council of Australia is the leading mining lobbying group in Australia.
BHP’s stand and its report were praised by groups that support ethical investing.
“This is a message that even organizations, like B.H.P., with large coal assets, do not value aggressive anti-climate lobbying,” Brynn O’Brien, executive director of the Australasian Center for Corporate Responsibility, said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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