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BP shareholders vote in favour of climate-change proposal, after pressure from campaigners

24 May 2019


Greenpeace activists scale BP’s headquarters in Aberdeen ahead of its AGM last week to protest its exploration for new oil and gas

Greenpeace activists scale BP’s headquarters in Aberdeen ahead of its AGM last week to protest its exploration for new oil and gas

SHAREHOLDERS of the oil giant BP have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a proposal to align its future plans to the terms of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Resolution 22, filed by investors acting as part of Climate Action 100+, which includes the Church Commissioners and C of E Pensions Board, passed with 99 per cent of shareholder votes during the BP AGM in Aberdeen on Tuesday. It means that BP will now need to set out a business strategy consistent with the agreed goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

A demonstration was held by climate-change activists outside the exhibition centre.

During the meeting, the head of responsible investment at the Church Commissioners, Edward Mason, asked: “Can we expect BP, in the near future, to indicate a date by which it is planning to achieve net-zero emissions across its operations and products; and can we expect this date to be within the range of 2050-2070, the generally accepted window for restricting the rise in the global average temperature to between 1.5 and two degrees?”

The senior engagement manager at the Pensions Board, Raj Singh, warned that “the goals of the Paris agreement are undermined when a company resources lobbying or industry associations that are not aligned with their core corporate commitments and values.”

He called on BP to make a time-bound commitment to conduct and publish a review of its industry association’s alignment of lobbying with the Paris goals. He also asked BP to provide the “necessary disclosure” to enable the Transition Pathway Initiative to track its alignment with the low-carbon transition.

The Pensions Board also addressed the Royal Dutch Shell AGM in The Hague on Tuesday. The director of ethics and engagement, Adam Matthews, praised Shell’s commitment to the Climate Action 100+ initiative, lobbying, and aligning its strategy with the need to transition to a low-carbon economy.

He later urged BP to send a joint message to other companies in the industry, and to investors.

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