BP faces off with investors ahead of AGM

Bosses at the oil giant say they would have little control over the emissions of their customers

BP has urged its shareholders to vote down a resolution that would require it to set targets relating to the emissions generated by customers using its products.

Activist shareholder group Follow This proposed the resolution following a successful campaign that forced competitor oil and gas groups to include product use emissions in their targets. Royal Dutch Shell, for example, has done this since 2017.

Follow This campaigns for oil and gas producers to align their targets with those of the Paris Climate Agreement which aims to limit the global rise in temperatures to no more than two degrees by 2050.

BP has advised shareholders, in its notice of AGM letter, to vote against the Follow This climate resolution (resolution 23) as it would mean setting targets for emissions over which the company has no control.

“An oil and gas company without targets for its products, can never prove to be aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This.

“We therefore expect that many investors will vote for our resolution to urge BP to follow Shell’s example.”

Follow This has proposed climate resolutions to align emissions targets with the Paris Agreement at the AGMs of Equinor, BP and Chevron.

“Investors who mean business about climate change will vote for these climate resolutions,” van Baal added. “The oil and gas sector, that can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement, needs a strong signal from investors.

“Fortunately, more and more investors fully understand that climate change threatens their assets. Therefore, more and more investors urge the oil industry to truly commit to Paris.”