LONDON (Reuters) – One of BHP’s biggest shareholders Aberdeen Standard Investments on Wednesday added to pressure for the world’s leading miner to cut ties with lobby groups it says are at odds with the company’s pledges on climate leadership.
Earlier, the Church of England Pensions Board urged shareholder advisers to review their opposition to a resolution calling on BHP to withdraw from groups that lobby for policies inconsistent with global climate change limitation goals.
Aberdeen Standard Investments, which holds around 3.2% of BHP’s stock, said it was taking the rare step of speaking out ahead of a vote at BHP’s annual shareholder meeting in London on Oct. 17 because of the urgency of tackling climate change, and after its research found the lobby groups were the biggest single obstacle to progress.
In a telephone interview, Bill Hartnett, stewardship director at Aberdeen Standard, said BHP had shown climate leadership in many ways, but that stance was contradicted by its membership of some industry groups.
“Failure to implement effective governance of its industry group lobbying activities serves to undermine the integrity of BHP’s climate leadership position and causes damage to its reputation,” Hartnett said. He did not specify which lobby groups.