May 12, 2021

BP dodges new climate target calls as activist pressure grows

BP has fended off a proposal calling for greater action on climate change but shareholder support more than doubled for the demands of the activist group that proposed it. At the energy supermajor's annual meeting on Wednesday, nearly 21 per cent of votes came in favour of the resolution by Dutch shareholder activist group Follow This, which sought to make BP set targets that are aligned with the Paris climate goals, in opposition to a recommendation by the board. In recent days Calpers, the US pension fund that chairs the influential Climate Action 100+ investor group, came under fire over a decision to vote against the Follow This climate resolution despite its own assessment that BP's plans are not Paris-aligned. Big shareholders have been torn between how to reward a company for taking some action on climate change, while continuing to push them to work even harder. Looney on Wednesday said the company's recent financial results showed the company was able to generate cash, pay down debt and be disciplined with spending while also "Delivering cash for shareholders today and transforming BP for tomorrow".

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