At the annual general meeting of shareholders of the world's largest coal and iron ore company BHP Billiton in London, only a little more than 22% of the votes were cast in favor of a proposal to suspend membership in trade associations that do not lobby for emission caps under the Paris Climate Agreement.
This vote will be followed by another vote in Australia on November 7, where the remaining 58% of shareholders are likely to also reject the idea of leaving coal associations, as there is strong support for the coal mining industry as a supplier of jobs and material values.
BHP has pledged to invest $ 400 million over five years to reduce emissions and cope with the huge amount of pollution caused when consumers use its products, in particular coking coal and iron ore for steel production.
The company said that the ore and other minerals it mines are necessary for cleaner technologies, and justifies that its ongoing investment in fossil fuels on the ground should be gradual.
CEO Andrew McKenzie said industry forecasts show that “the use and growth of oil and coal production will continue into the 2030s.
“You can't suddenly jump out of the world of fossil fuels and into a world that is all about renewable energy without causing an incredible disruption to both energy reliability and cost,” he said.