BP and shareholder group Follow This agreed to work together on a climate resolution for the company's 2021 shareholder meeting, and the withdrawal of a 2020 resolution, the parties said Friday.
The 2021 resolution will give shareholders the opportunity to weigh in on BP's net-zero ambition supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement, including for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions and increasing the proportion of investment into non-oil and gas businesses.
The Paris Agreement sets out a framework limit on global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and for pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The related greenhouse-gas emission protocol for companies classifies measures into three scopes: Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources; Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy; and Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions upstream and downstream in the company's value chain.
BP has changed its position on addressing climate change since CEO Bernard Looney took over in February, when he announced ambitions to reduce carbon emissions from BP products to net zero by 2050 or sooner. That Scope 3 goal was the central part of the Follow This resolution.
Mr. Looney said a joint statement: "Listening and engaging with stakeholders has been an essential part of defining our net zero ambition and aims. It has helped us better understand their expectations and to develop a path we believe is consistent with the Paris goals. Importantly, this path includes aims for Scope 3 emissions as well as for Scope 1 and 2 and the many other ways we believe we can help the world get to net zero."
Follow This founder Mark van Baal said in the statement that "BP's sudden green ambition has provoked a great deal of skepticism. The new climate resolution will offer BP the opportunity to end the uncertainty and to secure shareholder support for investments in the energy transition in the decades to come. The new shareholder resolution will be a true test for BP and its investors."
The Follow This climate resolution is still on the agendas of Shell and Equinor, which have 2050 emissions reduction goals of about 30%, compared with 70% called for in the Paris Agreement.