Support for BP tar sands resolution
Significant numbers of investors supported the tar sands resolution at BP's AGM today
Reacting to the outcome of a special resolution on BP’s controversial plans in the Canadian tar sands (also known as oil sands), investors who proposed the resolution at the company’s AGM in London today pointed out that 15% of shareholders either supported the resolution or abstained (strong for a resolution of this type), despite a strong company recommendation to oppose. Supporters also said that BP may have won the vote but they had not won the argument.
The resolution, which asked BP to report on the financial, social and environmental risks associated with tar sands extraction, 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.
At the AGM, BP‘s Chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, faced a series of uncomfortable questions on issues including the companies’ use of demand projections that assume no change in governments’ climate change policies & imply catastrophic climate change, how adequate control of outsourced projects can be asserted, health impacts on local communities and financial concerns.
Catherine Howarth, CEO of FairPensions said: “Shareholder resolutions are primarily a means to draw attention to an issue of concern to investors. The vote today is only one outcome of a wider process, which has catapulted tar sands risks to the top of BP’s agenda, and has become a major topic of debate in the City”.
Niall O’Shea, Head of Responsible Investing at The Co-operative Asset Management said: “Investors will be glad that the process has prompted BP to disclose its first significant information on this controversial activity...BP appears to be working toward the International Energy Association’s 'business as usual' reference scenario of unstinting oil demand and an emissions pathway that by the IEA’s reckoning could lead to a global average temperature increase of up to 6°C.”
Robert Nash of WWF said: “Tar sands threaten to lock in massive future carbon emissions at a time when all areas of the economy, and especially the energy sector, need to cut their carbon footprint. This resolution has generated a whole new level of disclosure and dialogue around the issue of tar sands expansion, and should inject further urgency into the task of establishing mandatory reporting requirements on environmental impacts and the financial risks they pose to investors”.
FIND OUT MORE about the tar sands and what you can do to support Ethical Consumer’s campaign.
1 comment(s) so far...
By madbiologist on
Re: Support for BP tar sands resolution
BP need to cancel their involvement in this project which is damaging the climate, the local and regional ecology, and the health and future of the local indigenous people.
This project is one more reason why I have got rid of my car and am buying locally grown food in season.