A COALITION of shareholders, led by the Church of England, will
press BP and Shell to work harder to tackle climate change at their
annual general meetings next year.
Alongside the Church Commissioners and the C of E Pensions
Board, the ethical fund manager Rathbone Greenbank, and the Local
Authorities Pension Fund Forum will co-file a resolution at the two
The head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners,
Edward Mason, said in a blog post on Thursday last week that the
Church's investing bodies wanted to strengthen how they engaged
with the businesses they invested in about the Church's ethical
"The shareholder resolutions are intended to challenge the
companies to run their businesses so that they participate
constructively in the transition to a low-carbon economy," he
wrote. The resolutions call on each firm to release more
information about how they control emissions, how much research is
done into low-carbon energy, and how executives' pay and bonuses
are connected to the company's success in transitioning to a
Mr Mason said that the resolutions were part of a broader push,
which began in 2012, to encourage the ten main London-based
utilities and extractive companies to increase their performance on
climate change as ranked by the NGO CDP.
"We have chosen to file shareholder resolutions at BP and Shell
because they have the biggest carbon footprints of all the
companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, and they are yet to
achieve A ratings (they are both rated B)," he said. Two years ago,
half of the firms were given C, D, or E marks, but now all are at
either B or A ratings.
"It is clear from the latest assessment report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released this year, that
the world is on a path towards dangerous climate change," Mr Mason
wrote. "Oil and gas companies have a particular responsibility
because the fuels they produce contribute to climate change when
they are burned."
Shell declined to comment. A BP spokesman said that the company
would consider the resolution when it was filed at its AGM in April
and respond then.
In April, Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for an
anti-apartheid-style boycott and divestment campaign against the
fossil-fuel industry to save the world from climate change.
Writing in The Guardian, he said: "People of conscience
need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice
of climate change. It makes no sense to invest in companies that
undermine our future."