BHP says likely to quit global coal lobby group – (Reuters U.S. – December 18, 2017)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it has taken a preliminary decision to leave the World Coal Association citing disagreement over climate change, and might also withdraw from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over mining industry rules.

BHP has largely quit mining coal for power plants but is the world’s largest exporter of coal for steel-making. It will seek responses from the World Coal Association over policy differences before making a final decision on whether to pull out in March 2018, it said.

The miner came under pressure from Australian green groups earlier this year to leave any industry associations whose policies did not match the company’s support of the Paris climate accord agreed in 2015.

Following a review, BHP said on Tuesday it had “reached a preliminary view to exit” the global coal lobby group, as the latter had called for Australia to abandon a clean energy target to boost prospects for high-tech coal-fired power plants.

BHP said the association’s policy conflicted with its view that energy markets should be fuel- and technology-neutral and take into account costs and benefits.

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