Press Release

Global investors support BP’s net zero ambition and capex consistency test in AGM statement

26.05.20

Leading global investors and shareholder representatives have issued a statement for consideration at BP’s annual general meeting (27th May). Carrying the support of 13 investors or shareholder representatives, representing over $5 trillion in assets, all signatories are involved in the collaborative engagement with BP as part of Climate Action 100+1.

The statement welcomes BP’s ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner and its report on evaluation of new material capex for consistency with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It also highlights areas investors want to see covered in more detailed implementation plans and ongoing review of the capex test post-Covid. It follows a successful shareholder resolution from Climate Action 100+ investors, passed at last year’s AGM – committing the company to set out its business strategy consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement – with overwhelming support from shareholders and BP Board endorsement2.

Key points covered in the statement from investors include:

  • Welcoming the response of Bernard Looney, as the new CEO of BP, to the Climate Action 100+ investor shareholder resolution by announcing the ambition for BP to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner just days into his new role, and extending support in navigating ‘the challenging journey towards this destination’.
  • Welcoming BP’s reporting on the consistency of new material capex investments with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in line with the 2019 AGM resolution, noting that this ‘breaks new ground’.
  • Requesting 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 (including ‘Scope 3’ in-use emissions).
  • Requesting that the assumptions of the test of capex consistency with the Paris climate goals are kept under careful review, given the possibility the Covid crisis may have brought forward peak oil.

Commenting on the statement, the ‘co-leads’ of engagement with BP from Aviva Investors, EOS at Federated Hermes and Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), explain:

“Recent market events are fundamentally challenging the investment thesis for oil and gas. More than ever, companies in the sector must demonstrate their long-term value and commitment to a low-carbon transition,” explains Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors. “We commend BP for setting out its net-zero ambition. 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.”

BP’s commitment to become a net zero company will lead to a radical transformation of the company and wider industry which we strongly support,” adds, Bruce Duguid, Head of Stewardship, EOS at Federated Hermes. “BP’s new test of capex consistency with the goals of the Paris Agreement breaks new ground for the sector and is vital to maintaining confidence in its strategy on the journey to net zero. We look forward to working collaboratively with BP as part of Climate Action 100+, as the company develops short and medium-term targets aligned to its net zero ambitions.”

Reckoning with a finite carbon budget requires forceful company action on absolute emissions and the alignment of energy production plans with climate goals,” notes Iancu Daramus, Senior Sustainability Analyst, LGIM. “We encourage the sector to follow BP’s lead on the journey towards net zero emissions.

Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative launched in 2017 to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. More than 450 investors and stewardship providers with over $40 trillion in assets participate in Climate Action 100+ globally.

The goal of Climate Action 100+ is to ensure the world’s largest emitting companies take greater action on climate change and put in place business strategies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This applies to emissions across the entire corporate value chain (scopes 1,2 and 3), including end use of products, with the outcome of helping limit global emissions to 1.5°C in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

– Ends –

Media contacts:

Climate Action 100+ (via IIGCC as a co-ordinating partner organisation): tfern@IIGCC.org & +44 (0)7867 360 273.

Notes to Editor:

See here for the full BP AGM statement.

  1. See statement here for a full list of investors supporting the statement. This includes: Aviva Investors, EOS at Federated Hermes (on behalf of its stewardship clients) and Legal & General Investment Management as co-leads of the collaborative engagement, with the support of the other 10 investors or shareholder representatives involved in the collaborative engagement.
  2. See related press release here for more context on the shareholder resolution.

Climate Action 100+: Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. More than 450 investors with more than $40 trillion in assets collectively under management are engaging companies on improving governance, curbing emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition.

Launched in December 2017, Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organisations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC); Ceres (Ceres); Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC); Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). These organisations, along with five investor representatives from AustralianSuper, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Manulife Asset Management, form the global Steering Committee for the initiative. Follow us on Twitter: @ActOnClimate100.

IIGCC: The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is the European forum for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low-carbon future. IIGCC has over 230 members, mainly pension funds and asset managers, across 15 countries, with over €30 trillion assets under management. IIGCC’s mission is to mobilise capital for the low carbon transition and to ensure resilience to the impacts of a changing climate by collaborating with business, policy makers and fellow investors.

Aviva Investors: Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The business delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors operates in 14 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom with assets under management of £346 billion in assets as at 30 June 2019.

Federated Hermes: Federated Hermes is a leading global investment manager with $575.9 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2019. Guided by our conviction that responsible investing is the best way to create wealth over the long term, our investment solutions span 135 equity, fixed-income, alternative/private markets, multi-asset and liquidity management strategies and a range of separately managed account strategies. Providing world-class active investment management and engagement services to more than 11,000 institutions and intermediaries, our clients include corporations, government entities, insurance companies, foundations and endowments, banks and broker/dealers. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Federated Hermes’ over 1,800 employees include those in London, New York, Boston and several other offices worldwide. For more information, visit FederatedHermes.com.

LGIM: LGIM is the investment management arm of Legal & General Group, a FTSE 100 company. We are one of Europe’s largest asset managers and a major global investor, with assets under management of £1.2 trillion* (as at 31 December 2019). Our success has been built by focusing on clients and providing them with services and solutions that meet their needs. We offer strategies across the full spectrum of asset classes, including equities, bonds, property, alternatives and cash, as well as multi-asset strategies tailored to the needs of institutional and retail investors.