Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

GreenPeace BP Amoco AGM Speech - Matthew Spencer

BP AGM, 13 April 2000

Speech to move resolution 12 by Matthew Spencer, Greenpeace UK.

1. Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is Matthew Spencer. I am a shareholder, but I want to build on the theme of choice from another perspective. Simon has explained what choices Resolution 12 presents from the perspective of a professional investor. I want to give you the perspective of a consumer of BP's oil.

2.You may be surprised but I'm not going to spend much time talking to you as a representative of the coalition of environment & wildlife groups here today that support this resolution. There are certain issues that are not in dispute - we all know that arctic wildlife - polar bears and caribou- do not have a choice about where they live. As climate change tears at the fabric of Arctic ecosystems their survival depends on the choices that investors and consumers make. The choices that we have here today.

3. I am a customer of BP like all of you. Contrary to common perception the millions of supporters of Greenpeace and other environment & wildlife groups know that we can't live without oil today. It's about whether we are doing today what is necessary to give us an alternative tomorrow.

4. We want a choice. This company has decided that it wants to be distinctive on the environment, it tells us as consumers that it is the greenest choice, light-years ahead of the rednecks at Exxon. The question we have is how far does our commitment to green extend beyond the colour of our petrol stations?

5. I want to know that BP is serious about giving me alternatives to fossil fuels. That BP can offer me cheap solar power. I want to know if BP will bow to public opinion believes that there are certain parts of our world, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that should be permanently off- limits to oil exploration.

5. The choice that resolution 12 embodies for customers like me is stark. It's between trusting that BP is doing all that it can to provide us with choice, between BP building its brand as being different from Exxon in actions as well as words, or dashing our hopes and expectations, losing our trust & ultimately losing our custom. I ask you all to consider : What will customers think when they know that BP is prepared to be the first company to drill in the arctic ocean and the arctic refuge? So fellow shareholders I urge you to reflect on the importance of BP's reputation with its customers.

6. Directors have shown great vision in putting this company centre stage on environment issues - saying to customers we want to be different. We're now at the crossroads. BP either follows through on its green commitments with a real change in behaviour, and gets the rewards that will come with that, or it faces a reputation meltdown. I urge you to show that as shareholders we can be as bold on investment as the directors were in vision.

7. The choice is ours - to stop new arctic oil exploration and to make this company a definitive leader in renewable energy markets, or to run the gauntlet of global public opinion. It's the choice between being part of a sustainable energy company of the 21st century and a fossil fuel giant of the last. Fellow shareholders, the choice is ours.

8. I want to finish by making an offer to the board. It might be tempting for you to think that your job is to ride out this particular storm. To dismiss our resolution as an irrelevance, confident that you are guaranteed the block- vote of the large City investors. I urge you not to do this. The breadth of support we have for this resolution is unprecedented - it ranges from individual British shareholders holding small amounts of stock as a nest egg, to managers of large private investment funds in the US and the UK. And it's clear that this issue will not go away.

9. As supporters of this resolution we are not hostile to your management - take this as a forthright but friendly early warning. A warning of trouble ahead. Because as long as the contradictions remain between company positioning on the environment and our actions on oil exploration, the company will face problems. The consequences will come back to haunt you and to haunt us as investors.

10. I understand that you are unsure about whether there is shareholder confidence to allow you to make the transition away from oil exploration and towards renewable energy. My suggestion to you is therefore the following: Come back to us next year with different options for our level of investment in renewable energy and oil exploration. Different levels of capital allocation for shareholders to choose from. I think it is fair to say that even shareholders who don't support resolution 12 would welcome that. That way you can gauge shareholder confidence in a transition to renewable energy. That way we will not be forced to keep coming back with our own resolutions.

11. Shareholders deserve the right to choose. We hope that you will give us that option. The question for the board is will you give us that choice?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election