BP’s shareholders overwhelmingly supported a resolution that would force the company to disclose some of its climate change-related risks. … The risks that global warming poses to the business models of companies like BP are clearer now than ever before.
Scientists are warning that in order to avoid the worst consequences of global warming, much of big oil’s fuel reserves, which these companies value so highly, would need to be left in the ground, rather than burned to create energy. … Svanberg, the BP chairman, made the unusual move of addressing climate change head-on and at length, which is almost unheard of at a company primarily invested in oil and gas, rather than fast-growing renewables like wind and solar.
Svanberg said “We need to play our role in the action on climate change …. Climate change is a clear challenge for the world.” … His agenda calls for BP to advocate that policymakers put a price on carbon, which would direct investments toward low-carbon technologies, push a transition from coal to gas, and focus more on energy efficiency.
The BP vote and support of a similar resolution at Shell show that climate change has moved beyond the world of socially-responsible investing and into the mainstream.