Major global institutional investors involved in collaborative engagement with BP as part of Climate Action 100+ (CA 100+) have publicly set out their perspective on the company’s commitment to become a net-zero oil and gas major, welcoming “ground-breaking” reporting on capital expenditure but pledging further attention to the company’s spending.
APG Asset Management, Aviva Investors, Legal & General Investment Management, PGGM and UBS Asset Management are among those* putting their name to statement that has been drafted “for consideration” upon the occasion of BP’s annual general meeting tomorrow.
Due to the coronavirus and government guidance on social distancing, the AGM will be a closed meeting and will be live streamed on the Internet. Investors will not be able to participate, but chair Helge Lund is expected to acknowledge the investors’ statement when he addresses the meeting.
The investors’ statement follows BP in February announcing a net-zero “ambition”, with then new chief executive officer Bernard Looney saying it would provide details about how it planned to deliver on that in September, when it holds a capital markets day.
In their statement, the investors said they welcomed this as a response to last year’s Climate Action 100+ shareholder resolution, and also expressed their support for BP’s reporting on the consistency of new material capital expenditure investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in line with the 2019 AGM resolution.
According to the investors, this reporting “breaks new ground by developing by developing a profitability and carbon intensity test for projects under conditions which BP believes are consistent with the Paris goals”.
They cautioned that the assumptions underlying this test should be kept under careful review “given the possibility that the COVID crisis may have brought forward peak oil”.
“We also look to forward to building on our constructive engagement in this area, exploring how to ensure that capex is also consistent with carbon budgets aligned to BP’s journey to net-zero,” they added.
The investors also said they would “welcome more clarity” on BP’s short and medium-term targets aligned to its net-zero ambition, such as greenhouse gas emissions targets for energy produced and sold (Scopes 1-3), the links to remuneration, and planned levels of investment in traditional oil and gas and low carbon technologies.
“Providing a roadmap and aligning capital expenditure with a finite carbon budget are clear indicators to investors of a shift in company strategy”
Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors
“We commend BP for setting out its net-zero ambition,” said Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors.
“Providing a roadmap and aligning capital expenditure with a finite carbon budget are clear indicators to investors of a shift in company strategy, providing milestones against which to assess progress. We look forward to continuing our engagement with BP to ensure that capex remains consistent with its goal to reach net-zero by 2050.”
*Full list of supporting investors: APG Asset Management, Aviva Investors, AXA Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management on behalf of its advisory clients, EOS at Federated Hermes on behalf of its stewardship clients, HSBC Global Asset Management, Kempen, Legal & General Investment Management, Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, M&G Investments, Newton Investment Management, PGGM, and UBS Asset Management.