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The majority of BP shareholders voted against a resolution filed by Dutch activist investor group Follow This that demanded the supermajor increase its emissions-cutting commitments.
Some 80 percent voted against the resolution. Follow This and others noted, however, that the 20.7 percent that did vote in favor of the new targets was double the support that a similar resolution received last year.
“Once again, responsible investors have given a clear signal to the Board of BP,” said Follow This’ Mark van Baal, who filed the resolution. “They’re saying we do not accept empty promises for the distant future anymore, we need you to act now.”
According to the activist shareholder group, BP’s business plans involve an increase in emissions by 2030, despite the fact that it has pledged to reduce oil production by 40 percent and committed to investing a lot more in renewable energy.
“In 2019, 8% compelled BP to set emission reduction ambitions for its product (Scope 3). Today’s 21% will hopefully compel BP to advance these ambitions to Paris-consistent emission reduction targets and - consequently - shift investment away from fossil fuels to renewables,” Follow This also said in a press release following the vote.
“We will continue to engage with shareholders on our strategy, targets and aims so as to ensure their views are fully understood,” BP said, as quoted by City A.M., after the meeting, with chief executive Bernard Looney noting, “There is no single path to Paris, and there is no single metric that measures Paris consistency.”
According to BP, if the Follow This resolution was approved by a majority of shareholders, that would have disrupted the company’s business plans and force it “to go back to the drawing board.”
Follow This agreed: “This is exactly what shareholders should request of BP by voting in favour of resolution 13: BP should go back to the drawing board and disrupt its current business plans which involve an increase in emissions.”
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.