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Development

BP Faces GreenTtest

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/01/19; Juanuary 19, 2001.]

Roger Cowe

The Guardian 18.01.01

BP faces four critical shareholder resolutions on environmental and social issues at its annual meeting in April.

The resolutions question a $580m (415m) investment in PetroChina, call for a transition strategy beyond oil to renewable energy and demand a full risk asseessment of drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge in Alaska.

They aim to build on last year's call for an end to Arctic exlporation, which won 13% pf shareholder votes. They will also capitalise on the group's new strategy, Beyond Petroleum, warning shareholders of the risk to BP's reputation if this is seen as a shallow marketing stunt.

Stephanie Tunmore of Greenpeace UK said yesterday that it is in shareholders' interests for the new strategy to be accelerated. "The investment strategy for renewables is nowhere near adequate. For the rebranding to work they need to tell us how and tell us when, otherwise we are looking at weasel words."

She predicted that conventional fund managers would be more receptive to this year's resolution because of last July's legal change which requires pension fund managers to address ethical isues.

Supporting shareholders are being organised so that the resolutions can be filed by the end of the month. They include several US social investment funds, together with British pressure groups including Greenpeace, WWF and Free Tibet Campaign.

The US funds have been instrumental in meeting the British requirement for resolutions to be backed by 10,000 worth of shares acrross 100 investors. They include Trillium Asset Management, whose senior analyst Simon Billenness proposed last year's resolution.

He said BP was an environmental leader in the oil industry but it was in investors' interests to seek improvements. BP declined to comment.


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