Green activist fights for BHP board seat against management's will

Former coal industry executive and current environmental activist Ian Dunlop will find out Thursday if his bid to become a board member of the world's largest miner was successful.

BHP Billiton's AGM meeting Thursday in Perth includes a vote by shareholders on whether or not Dunlop may serve on the company's executive.

Dunlop wants to tackle climate change, and he thinks influencing BHP policy from within is one effective way of doing this.

"The sort of strategic understanding and perspectives on [climate change] on the current board are not adequate to handle this problem," said Dunlop.

"Therefore I think some wider perspectives are needed and I think I can provide that."

Dunlop was formerly the head of the Australian Coal Association and a long-time Shell employee.

Last month BHP urged shareholders to vote against Dunlop's ascension to the board.