BP also can’t confirm its emissions will be down by 2030

PRESS RELEASE

This AGM season Follow This is asking every oil major whether its climate ambition for 2050 will lead to

  1. a (net) absolute emissions reduction by 2030 and
  2. a fundamental shift in investments away from fossil fuels to renewables of at least 50% by 2030.

BP (like Shell and Equinor) couldn’t answer both questions during its AGM today. CEO Bernard Looney said the company will “set out more detail on our medium-term plans […] in September” (transcript below). Next Friday Total will face the same questions (and the same climate targets resolution as Shell and Equinor).

“We hope BP will confirm in September that emissions will go down and investments in renewables will go up in this decade, while IPCC scenarios show that both are imperative to achieving the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement,” responds Mark van Baal of Follow This.

BP and Follow This have agreed to work towards a climate resolution for 2021 to jointly ask shareholders for a mandate for Paris-aligned targets and investments for the decades to come.

“I look forward to BP engaging with you on a possible shareholder resolution for next year’s AGM,” Looney said during the AGM.

True test

“BP’s sudden green ambition has provoked a great deal of scepticism,” says Mark van Baal. “The new climate resolution will offer BP the opportunity to end the uncertainty and to secure shareholder support for investments in the energy transition in the decades to come. The new shareholder resolution will be a true test for BP and its investors.”

Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This:

“We support BP’s goal to decrease the emissions from its own energy products (Scope 3) to net zero by 2050. Once implemented, this goal will require a radical shift in BP’s spending away from fossil fuels to renewables. The oil industry can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement. We expect that the first oil major to rapidly scale the energy transition to renewables will be rewarded by shareholders and customers, and that other oil majors will follow.

To date, BP is the first oil major to acknowledge the imperative of shareholder support to drive the energy transition, which the world urgently needs. We look forward to working on a shareholder resolution to jointly ask shareholders for a mandate for Paris-aligned targets and investments for the decades to come.”

Transcript: questions Follow This and answers BP:

In 2020, we are asking the same questions to every oil major, in order to offer shareholders transparency and clarity about the medium-term impact of their climate ambitions:

  1. Will your climate ambition lead to a (net) absolute emissions reduction by 2030?
  2. Will your climate ambition lead to a fundamental shift in investments away from fossil fuels to renewables of annually at least 50% of your investments by 2030?

Bernard Looney: “Thank you Mark for your questions and indeed thank you for your challenge, which makes us better. And Mark, I look forward to continuing the helpful dialogue we have going on with you and your supporting investors, and I look forward to BP engaging with you on a possible shareholder resolution for next year’s AGM.

So while I can’t give you the answer right now as we’ve discussed, you will be aware that this is something that we have been and are working on, and as I have said we expect to set out more detail on our new and medium term plans for the next decade at the Capital markets day in September. This is a journey that is going to play out over decades and we will have more of the answers to your questions as we go along that journey. But we will provide the next level of detail and we look forward to sharing it with shareholders, who can take it into consideration at next year’s annual general meeting.”

Supporting statement by Follow This for BP AGM 2020

The oil industry can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement. Only the biggest industry incumbents have the technical know-how, financial muscle, and market-making opportunities to rapidly scale an energy transition to renewables.

We expect that the first oil major to rapidly scale the energy transition to a (net) zero emissions energy supply will be rewarded by shareholders, customers and society, and that other oil majors will follow.

Following the announcement of its new climate ambition on February 12, BP is in pole position to become that energy major.

We welcomed BP’s climate ambition, because it includes emission reductions of energy products, the so-called Scope 3 emissions.

We thank the board of BP for crossing the Rubicon on Scope 3, and we thank the investors that supported this step by voting for our climate targets resolution in 2019. BP’s move showed, once again, that leadership and a minority of responsible shareholders drive change.

Today, no resolution about Paris-aligned targets comes to vote.

Follow This has decided to withdraw its climate resolution tabled for BP’s 2020 AGM in response to BP’s new climate ambition, to give BP time to set out more detail, and – most importantly – because BP and Follow This have agreed to collaborate in drafting a climate resolution for the 2021 AGM.

The green ambitions of oil majors, have provoked a great deal of skepticism. The new climate resolution will offer BP the opportunity to end the uncertainty and to secure shareholder support for investments in the energy transition in the decades to come.

We support BP’s ambition to decrease the emissions from its own energy products (Scope 3) to net zero by 2050. We believe that, once implemented, this goal will lead to a shift in BP’s spending away from fossil fuels to renewables.

For clarity: our resolutions are based on the conviction that only short-, medium-, and long-term targets will lead to a radical shift in an oil major’s spending away from fossil fuels to renewables. Moreover, although oil and gas might be a part of the energy mix in 2050, we believe that – to drive the energy transition to renewables – the target should be net zero emissions energy rather than net zero emissions oil and gas.

To date, BP is the first oil major to acknowledge the imperative of shareholder support to drive the energy transition that the world urgently needs. We look forward to working on a shareholder resolution to jointly ask shareholders for a mandate for Paris-aligned targets and investments for the decades to come.

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