BP lined the road leading to its annual shareholder gathering in Scotland's oil capital with hoardings touting investments in renewable energy. Inside the meeting, there was a fierce debate on whether the energy major was telling the truth.
On Tuesday, investors large and small grilled BP's Chairman Helge Lund and CEO Bob Dudley for over two hours on the company's plans to tackle climate change and its preparation for the energy transitions. It became so intense at times that a security team had to remove protesters screaming "this is a crime scene."
Protests at oil company events aren't new. But investors controlling trillions of dollars of funds are now also putting their weight behind attempts to get oil companies to play a bigger role in reducing global emissions. That's increasing the urgency for the industry to take action.
"It raises a lot of questions for investors around what is the purpose of the company. What is your role in this transition?" Victoria Barron, a fund manager at Newton Investment Management, said in an interview after the annual meeting. "The details are what we need because we're not getting that right now."
About 99% of BP's shareholders passed a resolution at the annual meeting asking the company to disclose more information about how its investments align with the Paris climate accord. The proposal was backed by a group called Climate Action 100 Plus, whose investors together manage more than $33 trillion of funds.