May 21, 2019

On carbon emissions, BP should be as sure as Shell

BP's shareholder meeting, in Aberdeen, was surrounded by climate-change protesters demanding tough targets for carbon emissions. While Shell had set targets for cutting greenhouse gases from all its products - and linked pay to them - BP said it would only set targets for its own operations. BP refused to support a second resolution demanding targets for emissions from its products, as this would commit it to something inflexible on something unknowable: investment in a fast-transitioning world energy system. How could BP set emission targets now, "Knowing . . . the world will have radically to change course, but not knowing when or how?" asked the chairman. Finally, if anyone should be confident enough to link pay to wider emissions targets, it is the management of a company not leading the charge, but having the chance to go second.

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