BHP to quit World Coal Association on climate change differences

BHP (ASX:BHP) has delivered a blow to the global coal mining sector by revealing its intention to leave the World Coal Association (WCA), due to conflicting views on climate change and energy policies.

The diversified mining giant made a preliminary decision to exit the international advocacy body for the fossil fuel, and will decide in March whether it will quit the association permanently.

The momentous decision arrived after BHP’s review of industry body memberships, which concluded that it holds different views on climate change and gets limited benefit from membership with the WCA.

The Anglo-Australian company remains one of the world’s largest coal miners, but is also considering withdrawing from the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) due to the organisation’s criticism of the Paris climate change agreement.

Another association held up by the review as having material differences on climate change was the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), although BHP opted to remain a member of the council.

BHP chief external affairs officer Geoff Healy said: “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.”

BHP is targeting zero net emissions from its entire operations by the second half of this century.