BHP’s London AGM rejects call to quit ‘pro-coal’ associations – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters U.S. – October 17, 2019)

LONDON (Reuters) – BHP (BHP.AX) (BHPB.L) shareholders are poised to reject a motion urging the world’s biggest listed miner to suspend membership of some industry bodies judged to be at odds with goals to tackle climate change, initial voting in London suggested on Thursday.

Ethical investors have called for the suspension, arguing BHP’s membership of some industry organizations funds pro-coal lobbying.

One of BHP’s biggest shareholders, Aberdeen Standard Investments, part of Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA.L), last week spoke out in favor of the resolution, saying lobby groups can be a major obstacle to positive change.

But at the London annual general meeting, which represents 42% of shareholders, only 22.16% of votes supported the motion to suspend membership of trade associations that are not lobbying in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

The ballot will be followed by another vote on Nov. 7, representing the remaining 58%, in Australia, where there is strong support for coal as a provider of jobs and wealth.

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