BHP Billiton shareholders have voted against the election of climate change activist Ian Dunlop as a company director, on the recommendation of the board.

Dunlop received 108.3 million votes in his favour, while 2.8 billion votes were cast against his election and 77.7 were abstentions.

The ordinary resolution to elect Dunlop was the only one of 23 proposed resolutions that was not carried. 

BHP ceo Jac Nasser said in his agm speech that Dunlop was nominated by an individual shareholder outside the usual nomination and governance committee process.

He said BHP considers climate change to be among the most important strategic issues, that its diversified commodity portfolio strategy addresses risks including climate change and that the board recommended voting against Dunlop’s election.

Dunlop, a former senior executive in the oil, gas and coal industry, is part of the Climate Change Task Force, which was set up by Nobel Peace Laureate and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.

He chaired the Australian Coal Assn in the 1980s and was ceo of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1997 until 2001.