BHP misrepresented climate stance, says lobby group the World Coal Association – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – December 20, 2017)

BHP Billiton has been accused of “posturing” and misrepresenting the climate policies of the World Coal Association (WCA) in a controversial review the company has used to justify quitting the lobby group.

BHP said on Tuesday it was likely to cancel its membership of the WCA as a result of “material differences” between it and the WCA’s stance on energy and climate policy.

In justifying its “preliminary” decision to quit the WCA, BHP singled out comments by WCA chief executive Benjamin Sporton in The Australian Financial Review in September, where he endorsed the Turnbull government’s decision to abandon a clean energy target and urged Australian banks to support high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal-fired power stations.

BHP said the comments were an example of the WCA spruiking specific energy technologies, whereas BHP believed energy markets “should be both fuel and technology neutral”.

In the same document, BHP acknowledged that the WCA had preached “technology neutrality” in official documents it prepared for the Bonn climate conference last month.

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