Greenpeace's BP Amoco Resolution On Climate Change
REQUISITION by shareholders for giving notice of intended resolutions and for circulation of statement on business to be dealt with at the BP Amoco plc 2000 AGM
To the Directors of BP Amoco plc
We the undersigned being more than 100 members holding shares in the company on which there has been paid up an average sum per member of more than £100 require you, in accordance with the Companies Act 1985 Section 376 to give members of the company entitled to receive notice of the next annual general meeting notice of the annexed resolution, being a resolution which may properly be moved and is intended to be moved at that meeting and to circulate to those members the annexed statement.
Resolution on Arctic oil exploration and global climate change to the
BP Amoco plc 2000 AGM
RESOLVED that shareholders request the Board of Directors to implement the following policies for BP Amoco plc (the Company):
1. Cancel all plans for oil exploration and development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the Arctic Ocean.
2. Stop the expenditure of any funds by the Company or its subsidiary or associate companies targeted to achieve these objectives, including investments for the development of the Northstar project.
3. Make capital freed up by the cancellation of Northstar available to BP Solarex to up-scale substantially its solar manufacturing capacity.
Supporting statement to the resolution on Arctic oil exploration and global climate change to the BP Amoco plc 2000 AGM
The shareholder group SANE BP and Trillium Asset Management Corporation support the aim of BP Amoco to play a leading role in meeting the world's energy needs without damaging the environment but believe that BP Amoco has still not addressed the role that frontier oil exploration plays in undermining global climate protection and vulnerable ecosystems. They maintain that serious consideration of these issues is central to the company’s long term commercial success.
The purpose of this resolution is to ensure that BP Amoco desists from damaging and costly oil exploration in the Arctic, in particular the construction and development of the proposed Northstar oil development and future drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Furthermore, the resolution aims to ensure that the company makes the necessary investment in its solar subsidiary, BP Solarex, to secure its profitability and future growth.
The resolution follows discussions between representatives of SANE BP and Directors of BP Amoco in which concerns about the Northstar development, future drilling in the Arctic Refuge and the slow speed of solar power commercialisation were raised. It is the view of SANE BP that BP Amoco has not adequately addressed these concerns.
The case for the resolution
BP Amoco’s world-wide oil & gas production activities have adverse impacts at both the global and regional level. The greatest overall environmental impact of BP Amoco's core business is carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil and gas. Carbon pollution is the largest contributor to the human induced greenhouse effect.
According to climate scientists, the last decade of the 20th century was the warmest in the past 1,000 years. The western Arctic is particularly vulnerable to changes in the global climate and is already warming three times faster than the global average. The early break up and later freeze-up of sea ice in parts of the Arctic and sub-Arctic is having a detrimental effect on native peoples and wildlife. For example, polar bears in Hudson Bay are being adversely affected as sea ice change results in a shorter hunting season on the ice.
BP Amoco is one of the 5 largest privately owned carbon producers in the world. Growing international moves to arrest global climate change are of fundamental importance to the company’s future profitability. BP Amoco has indicated that climate protection will require a major reduction in fossil fuel use and that this is likely to affect the company’s main businesses. However, shareholders have not been informed as to how climate protection will affect the company's investment strategy in relation to exploring and developing new oil and gas reserves.
The Arctic is particularly vulnerable to the direct impacts from oil exploration and development because its ecosystems recover very slowly from oil spills and disturbance. BP Amoco is currently trying to develop the world's first offshore Arctic oil field: the much-delayed Northstar project. BP gained Northstar's lease in December 1994. It now hopes to bring ashore the first oil, from an estimated 185 million-barrel reserve, by 2001. The estimated cost of the project is between 500 and 1,500 million US Dollars.
BP Amoco refuses to accept that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be permanently off-bounds to oil development, despite its current protected status. The company finances the lobby group Arctic Power, which is working to have the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge opened to oil drilling. The Refuge is the only conservation area in the USA that provides a complete range of Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems.
The US Department of the Interior has concluded that oil development in the coastal plain would have major adverse impacts on the vast herd of caribou that migrate there each spring to give birth. The coastal plain is also the most important denning area for the entire South Beaufort Sea polar bear population and serves as a crucial habitat for musk oxen and at least 180 bird species.
Oil spills from Northstar would harm polar bears, endangered bow head whales and seals that migrate though or inhabit this part of the Arctic Ocean. The US Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service predicts that 10 oil spills, each in excess of 1000 barrels, will occur in the Arctic Ocean if offshore development proceeds.
Investment capital freed by the cancellation of Northstar could be invested in the promising renewable energy business opportunities now available to the company. BP Amoco wholly owns BP Solarex, one of the leaders in the rapidly growing market for solar electric (photovoltaic) technologies. The market for solar panels is potentially enormous, but it is currently limited by the high cost of production.
A major interdisciplinary study led by a technical expert from BP Solarex, and a separate analysis by global business consultants KPMG, have identified an extraordinary opportunity in this market. These studies have shown that there are no technical barriers to building large-scale solar factories that can produce photovoltaic panels at a price that makes rooftop solar systems competitive with existing electricity supply. The estimated cost of such a factory is 520 million US Dollars. This investment is at the low end of cost estimates for the Northstar project.
SANE BP is a group of BP Amoco shareholders that includes Greenpeace, the US Public Interest Research Group and socially responsible investors.
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