BP backs shareholder initiative on climate plan disclosure | AP business

Andrew Cummings
February 3, 2019

Energy giant BP will get behind a shareholder effort which would require it to work towards the goals of the Paris climate change agreement.

Some of the members include Standard Life Aberdeen PLC, AXA Group, the Church of England Pensions Board, HSBC Global Asset Management, Investec Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, and UBS Asset Management.

Its board has chose to back a shareholder resolution at its next annual general meeting calling for strict new climate change plans and disclosures at the company.

Based on BP's current disclosures it was not possible to evaluate the extent to which the company's investments in fossil fuel reserves or resources were consistent with the Paris goals, they added.

The reporting will "build on BP's history of progressive action in this area", he said, promising transparency around the company's climate goals.

"Investors are helping ensure climate change is firmly on the boardroom agenda, which is especially important for the oil and gas sector", Pfeifer said.

According to a Financial Times report, BP likely did not accept the Follow This resolution as it had previously said that third-party emissions are out of the control of energy companies.

BP also said that in the future, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would be a factor in determining compensation for 36,000 employees, including senior managers.

Follow This describes itself as "a group of responsible shareholders in oil and gas companies" that organizes shareholder support to commit to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Shell provides an example of a company moving in the right direction toward alignment with Paris goals by setting a target to reduce the intensity of emissions from of its products (Scope 3).

British Petroleum (BP) has vowed to to link executive pay to its reduction in carbon emissions. "And to do that they have to adapt to a low-carbon economy". BP introduced a plan previous year that sets near-term emissions goals for its operations.

Climate Action said the information would help investors determine whether there is a conflict between BP's commitment to the Paris goals and its plans to increase oil and gas production. These emissions are much bigger than those from the company's operations.

The BP announcement was made alongside the investor group Climate Action 100+, which has been pressuring some of the largest carbon emitters in the world to take responsibility for limiting climate change.

BP today said it had decided not to support the Follow This resolution.

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