Daily Management Review

BP Investors Pressure Firm To Take More Action To Combat Climate Change


BP Investors Pressure Firm To Take More Action To Combat Climate Change
Major investors of oil major BP has indicated that they want more to be done by the company about the environment. It is being expected that the company would be pressurized to set tougher targets to combat climate change by investors in a meeting next week.
Activists and an increasing number of shareholders are pressurizing BP to make sure that the operations of the company are in line with the 2015 Paris climate deal goals to reduce global warming following the 2018 carbon emission from the BP reached their highest in six years.
BP is already backing a resolution for investor where the company pledges to showcase greater transparent about its emissions, showing strategies for future investments to meet the Paris goals and to link the pay of its executives to the reduction of carbon emissions from its operations. It is expected that at the BP’s annual meeting in Aberdeen the resolution - which is proposed by BP and a group of 58 shareholders that won 10 percent of the company, known as Climate Action 100+, would be passed.
However there are some activist investors who want BP to do more and follow the line that Royal Dutch Shell was forced to take – setting the toughest industry targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, after years of pressure from investors and activists.
“BP now is at the same stage as Shell was two to three years ago,” said Eric Rutten, head of the responsible investments committee of Aegon, which according to Refinitiv data. is the largest Dutch investor in BP and owns stocks worth about $26 million in the $142 billion company. This investing company is supporting a resolution, proposed by activist group Follow This, that wants BP to not only take responsibility of reducing its own carbon emissions but also for the emissions resulting from the fuel and products that it sells to its customers.
Analysts say that there is little chance of this resolution getting through in the AGM of the company. 
“We’d like to see the company set its own targets,” Ashley Hamilton Claxton, head of responsible investment at Royal London Asset Management, one of the top 20 investors in BP. “We’d consider supporting more stringent targets, such as those proposed by Follow This, if the board fails to make meaningful progress,” she said. Her company would not vote against the ‘Follow This’ resolution resolution but would rather abstain, she added. 
While welcoming engagement with shareholders, BP said in a statement that it also wanted “to be a constructive partner in the energy transition. We’re working on this with governments, society and our investors.”
There are other companies in the oil sector that are also under similar pressure. A similar resolution was proposed to shareholders in U.S. energy firm Chevron by Follow This and other activists. On the other hand, investors in the Norway’s majority state-owned Equinor rejected a similar proposal brought in by ‘Follow This’ this week.