BP Announces Expansion of Emission Disclosure Regarding Oil Investments

Oil company BP (British Petroleum) has agreed to more openly share its greenhouse gas emissions data to demonstrate how they think oil and gas investments in the future can align with UN-backed climate goals. 

After a discussion with a large group of investors, on Friday, BP also agree to support a new shareholder resolution on these measures at the company’s annual general meeting.  This is just the latest visible effort to show how the energy industry—and its investors—are looking to engage on climate issues of the present and the future. 

Indeed, BP Chairman Helge Lund comments, “BP is committed to helping solve the dual challenge of providing more energy with fewer emissions.  We believe our strategy is consistent with the Paris goals.”

Thus, the new agreement has brought together a group of investors who have collectedly submitted $32 trillion for “Climate Action 100+” and only one week after major rival Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to introduce new and broad carbon emissions targets.  More importantly, these measures are connected to executive pay. 

But while BP may be the second to introduce new measures like this, they are the first—and only—company to agree on detailing how their major fossil fuel investments in the future will align with net zero carbon emissions goals aimed at phasing out fossil fuels completely by the end of this century.  In a statement, then, BP said it will link the success of these carbon emissions targets with remuneration policies for 36,000 of its employees; and that includes executive directors. 

Lead Coordinator for this resolution, Bruce Duguid, comments, “This is good news for both investors and the planet.”  

Also the head of stewardship at Hermes EOS, an investment management firm, Duguid goes on to say, “The decision by the BP Board to support the resolution shows that this is a priority for the company and builds on progress to date, such as setting best in class methane intensity targets.”

That said, the joint agreement has also exposed a fundamental chasm between investors. As a matter of fact, many investors remain concerned that the company has not demonstrated this strategy, yet.  For example, the strategy describes increasing investments in oil and gas while simultaneously pursuing lower carbon businesses that both satisfy goals set in the Paris accord. 

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