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BHP to steer mining lobby groups' climate change policies

FILE PHOTO: A tonne of nickel powder made by BHP Group sits in a warehouse at its Nickel West division, south of Perth, Australia August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - BHP Group BHP.AX said on Friday it will closely monitor the work of industry associations to ensure they match its climate position on keeping the world's warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The world’s largest listed miner has faced increasing pressure from investors worried that some mineral lobby groups, particularly in Australia, are promoting coal in contravention of the goals of the Paris climate pact, and have urged BHP to stop funding them.

BHP, which quit the World Coal Association in 2018, said it will publish annually a list of material association memberships and disclose in real time if any of the associations breach its global climate policy standards.

“We welcome this effort to ensure trade associations remain in step with their more forward-thinking members,” said Thomas O’Malley, Global Head of Corporate Governance at HSBC Global Asset Management and co-lead of the Climate Action 100+ engagement with BHP.

BHP also said industry groups it supports should not advocate in favour of Australia’s use of Kyoto carryover credits, a controversial accounting method that would allow Australia to use its old carbon credits from the 1992 Kyoto Protocol to meet Paris targets.

Last year, BHP said it was reviewing its membership of four industry associations including the New South Wales Minerals Council due to concerns about their climate and energy policies.

The NSW Minerals Council in June promoted 21 coal mines as a key employment driver. It said in a statement that its policies reflected the views of all members.

“BHP is an important member... and we will seek to progress BHP’s request in consultation with our board and the executive committee which includes BHP.”

The Minerals Council of Australia said it welcomed BHP’s findings and would work with the miner and state associations to progress the key issues raised.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Kirsten Donovan

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