ENVIRONMENT
12/20/2017 08:35 am ET

Major Coal Company Pulls Out Of Industry Group, Citing Climate Change Stance

And it's threatening to also break ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

One of the world’s largest coal companies will break with an international coal organization and threatened to also withdraw from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the groups’ backward stances on climate change.

BHP Billiton, a British-Australian mining company, released a report Tuesday emphasizing its commitment to combating climate change and outlining its updated stance toward international climate and energy associations. It determined that 21 of these associations held “an active position on climate and energy policy” but raised concerns with three associations ― the Minerals Council of Australia, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the World Coal Association.

BHP said it plans to exit the WCA next year in light of these differences and threatened to also withdraw from both the MCA and the Chamber of Commerce. Namely, the company took issue with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords.

“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,” Chief External Affairs Officer Geoff Healy said in a statement.

“As a major producer and consumer of fossil fuels, we recognise our responsibility to take action by focusing on reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; adapting to the physical impacts of climate change; accelerating the development and deployment of low emissions technology; testing and building the resilience of our portfolio; and working with others, including academia, industry and governments, to enhance the global response to climate change,” the report said.

The WCA said it was disappointed by the report’s findings.

“The WCA has always supported a balanced approach that integrates climate and energy policy; working towards a low emission future for coal,” Chairman Mick Buffier said.

The Trump administration has shown itself committed to reviving the American coal industry and has repealed Obama-era legislation that placed limits on the mining industry. Trump even bragged in July that he had brought back 45,000 coal jobs since he entered office in January, yet monthly reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that only 1,200 such jobs had been created as of November.

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