February 18, 2019

BP Commits To More Transparency Over Climate Change

03 February 2019, 07:42 | Hattie Nash

BP to explain how business chimes with Paris climate deal

BP gas station sign

The company will also link the pay of 36,000 employees to its climate change efforts. If BP fails to set specific targets for dramatically reducing emissions resulting from the use of its products and does not bring its lobbying into line with its stated positions on climate change, this pledge is window dressing and shareholders should call foul.

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, said BP's support for the resolution was "a modest but important step towards a business strategy that is more fully aligned with the Paris Agreement".

They said on February 1 that while the resolution leaves it up to BP to "set out the process and methodology" for its disclosures, "investors will be keen to ensure they are sufficiently robust and reliable".

The UK oil and gas company supported a resolution, put forward by a group of shareholders including the investment arms of HSBC, Legal & General and the C of E, forcing it to be more transparent on climate change.

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"We believe our strategy is consistent with the Paris goals", Lund said in a statement.

He said that the reporting will "build on BP's history of progressive action in this area".

It said that the oil major will need to describe how its strategy is consistent with the climate change target that was set out in 2015.

BP Chair Helge Lund said: "BP is committed to helping solve the dual challenge of providing more energy with fewer emissions". The energy giant said the BP board has made a decision to support the proposed resolution, which will be put to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in May 2019.

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Shell, for example, said a year ago that it would start linking executive pay to short-term carbon emissions targets in 2020 after coming under pressure from shareholders including the Church of England. "And to do that they have to adapt to a low-carbon economy".

To align with Paris, BP would have to diversify into clean energy production, shrink current investments in oil and gas development, or otherwise reduce its full range greenhouse gas emissions.

The Follow This proposal specified emission targets and metrics, based on the Paris accord, to be able to track the company's contribution to helping minimize climate change.

While BP agreed to increase its disclosure around climate, it also rejected another resolution tabled by climate activist group Follow This calling for emission reduction targets for all its operations, including emissions from products it sells to customers, known as Scope 3.

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"BP needs to follow its announcement with concrete, bold action".

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