Tar sands focus at BP AGM
BP’s AGM on 15th April will spotlight its controversial plans for Canadian tar sands projects.
BP’s Annual General Meeting in London on the 15th April is set to be the focus of debate on the company’s controversial plans for Canadian tar sands projects. Ethical Consumer has been campaigning on the tar sands issue since last year as part of the UK Tar Sands Network .
At tomorrow’s meeting Special Resolution 25, filed by over 140 investors from around the world including major global institutional investors, calls on BP to report on the financial, environmental and human rights risks of tar sands. The resolution was filed by the largest coalition of its kind seen in the UK, led by responsible investment charity FairPensions and the Co-operative Asset Management and backed by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and the UNISON Staff Pension Scheme, among others. The resolution has become the focus of intense engagement between BP and major City investors in the last six weeks.
Although the company has made unprecedented disclosures on carbon price and oil demand assumptions many large investors agree that further disclosure is required. Investors remain particularly concerned about BP’s strategic assumptions about future oil demand and carbon emissions.
Public and investor interest in the resolution has been bolstered by a grassroots mobilisation campaign that has seen more than 5,000 people petitioning their pension providers and other large BP shareholders to back the resolution.
Catherine Howarth, CEO of FairPensions, said: “The shareholder resolution process has scored important victories. BP has made its first disclosures about tar sands as a result of this campaign, and although we do not think they have gone far enough, the debate and support generated in the City has sent a signal to BP that the company’s management cannot ignore. BP’s plans in the tar sands are now under an unprecedented level of scrutiny from investors, campaigners and politicians”.
The resolutions are also backed by environmental and human rights NGOs who point to the extremely high levels of carbon emissions caused by extraction, huge quantities of toxic waste produced, local air and water pollution, deforestation, and human rights concerns raised by front-line indigenous communities in Canada.
Find out more about the tar sands and what you can do to support Ethical Consumer’s campaign.