After a review of its membership in several industry associations, BHP will likely withdraw from the World Coal Association (WCA) and possibly the United States Chamber of Commerce over a difference of opinion over climate and energy policy.
BHP published a report relating to its membership of industry associations that hold an active position on climate and energy policy. Twenty-one industry associations were assessed as holding an active position on climate and energy policy, and were included within the scope of the review. The review focused on 10 climate and energy policies identified as being of key importance to BHP, with seven material differences in position identified across three associations: WCA, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).
BHP will advise the WCA that they have reached a preliminary view to exit the association “in light of the identified difference and the narrower activities of benefit to BHP from membership.” It will invite responses from the WCA before making a final determination by March 31.
With the chamber of commerce, BHP plans to let them know about their differences to the board of the chamber and seek additional information about the nature of the differences and consider its future membership before making a final decision on or before March 31.
BHP said it would remain a member of MCA, but would let the association know about its difference in opinion and request that it refrains from policy activity or advocacy in those areas. It also plans to review its membership if it hasn’t done so.
“This review makes clear the principles for our ongoing participation in industry bodies,” said Chief External Affairs Officer Geoff Healy. “While we won’t always agree with our industry associations, we will continue to call out material differences where they exist and we will take action where necessary, as we have done today.”
Healy said publication of the report demonstrated BHP’s support for action on climate change and commitment to transparency.