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Climate Change BHP to exit global coal body over policy

The world's biggest miner BHP said Tuesday it would leave the World Coal Association and review its membership of the US Chamber of Commerce membership to show support for action on climate change.

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BHP's decision to to exit the WCA came as some governments look move away from coal-fired power, a key driver of global warming and air pollution. play

BHP's decision to to exit the WCA came as some governments look move away from coal-fired power, a key driver of global warming and air pollution.

(GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

The world's biggest miner BHP said Tuesday it would leave the World Coal Association and review its membership of the US Chamber of Commerce membership to show support for action on climate change.

The Anglo-Australia giant has been undertaking a review of its industry group memberships to see if their stances aligned with the firm's view that climate change had to be tackled with emissions reductions and the use of renewable energy.

The 22-page report, released Tuesday, found the organisations as well as the Minerals Council of Australia held different positions from BHP.

It said it was making a preliminary decision to part ways with the WCA, which would be reviewed by March next year.

The global lobby group had favoured the dumping of a clean energy target, which supports investment in renewables in Australia, as it preferred the use of cleaner coal technologies instead.

In contrast, BHP said it held a policy of tackling climate change through encouraging both the use of renewable energy and cleaner technologies.

BHP said it also disagreed with the US Chamber of Commerce's rejection of the Paris Agreement and a carbon-pricing policy, and would decide on whether to leave the organisation by March.

"Emissions reductions are necessary to mitigate climate change," the report said, outlining BHP's stance in support of the Paris pact.

"An effective global framework to reduce emissions should use a portfolio of complementary measures, including a price signal on carbon."

The Paris deal was sealed under previous US president Barack Obama, but his successor and climate sceptic Donald Trump pulled out of it in June.

The miner said it would remain in the MCA as the firm was still benefiting from its membership, but threatened to quit the Australian group if it did not refrain from lobbying in favour of coal power.

The decision to exit the WCA came as some governments look move away from coal-fired power, a key driver of global warming and air pollution.

Global demand for the fossil fuel is forecast to remain flat between 2017 and 2022, resulting in a "decade of stagnation for coal consumption", the International Energy Agency said Monday.

Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest miner, in September completed the sale of most of its Australian coal assets to China-backed Yancoal.

Rio's divestment drive is expected to lead to a complete exit from the coal sector.

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