Fossil fuel giants BP and Shell are both supporting shareholder resolutions requiring them to consider the impacts climate change could have on their business.
“Both the Shell and BP resolutions were submitted by a coalition of activist investor groups representing more than 150 major shareholders in Europe and America, including the UK’s Environment Agency and the Church of England, for a combined $300 billion in assets,” Grist reports. “The resolution asked Shell and BP to reduce emissions, to invest in renewables, to provide transparency about bonuses that reward ‘climate-harming activities,’ and to test how their business models would hold up if governments were to take action to limit global warming to 2º Celsius.”
The resolution argues that these steps are good business, “given the recognized risks and opportunities associated with climate change.”
Shell Executive Vice President JJ Traynor urged shareholders to support the resolution, and a BP spokesperson described it as “non-confrontational.” But past precedent suggests the practical result could be minimal: Last year, after Exxon agreed to disclose its stranded asset risk due to unburnable carbon, the company concluded that international policymakers were “highly unlikely” to impose strict enough limits to turn its fossil fuel reserves into stranded assets.