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BHP quits World Coal Association over climate clash

The miner will remain part of 2 other groups that it says are willing to engage further on climate issues


BHP Billiton Ltd has severed ties with the World Coal Association (WCA) over a clash of views on how to combat climate change, with the mining giant saying it'll reap little benefit from staying on as a member.

BHP will cease membership of the association following a review, while remaining a part of two other groups that it says have shown a willingness to engage further on climate issues, according to a statement by the Melbourne-based company on Thursday.

"In light of the material difference identified by the review and the narrow range of activities of benefit to BHP from membership, BHP has reached a final view that it will cease membership of the WCA," the miner said.

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The producer's move follows concern from some investors over membership of groups that have criticised the Paris climate accord and rejected targets to increase use of renewable energy sources. The World Coal Association is "disappointed" by BHP's decision to leave the group, it said in a statement.

BHP said it'll remain a member of the US Chamber of Commerce, and will work with the Minerals Council of Australia to advocate policies aligned with the miner.

BHP - which gets about 20 per cent of its revenue from coal - is targeting net zero emissions from its operations in the second-half of this century. While it has cut emissions by about 61 per cent in the six years to 2016, the producer remains among the world's top emitters, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a September report.

Rival Rio Tinto Group last week completed its exit from coal after agreeing to sell more than US$4 billion of Australian mines. BLOOMBERG