In January 2010, ShareAction, working with a coalition of investors and NGOs, succeeded in co-ordinating shareholder resolutions to be discussed at Shell and BP's 2010 Shareholder meetings.
The resolutions call on Shell and BP to answer questions about their involvement in tar sands (also known as oil sands). Signatories to the resolutions include groups and individuals concerned about environmental and human rights problems and investors who question the financial wisdom of tar sands projects.
Tar sands make up the world's second largest oil reserves, but the damage they can cause to the climate is even worse than that of conventional oil: the greenhouse gas emissions of converting tar sands into fuel is 3 times higher. Roughly three barrels of natural gas are consumed to create one barrel of oil.
Financial concerns include questions about whether future oil prices will be high enough to outweigh the high costs of producing tar sands, installing carbon capture and storage and expected carbon-emissions costs. Investors working with ShareAction think that BP and Shell's financial assumptions may be too optimistic. (The investor briefing, below, under "Resolutions and investor information", has more details).
The resolutions have support from a large coalition of investors, including pension funds, fund managers, foundations, faith groups and individuals.
Information for investors
Investors sponsoring the resolutions include:
|The Co-operative Asset Management|
|The UNISON Staff Pension Scheme|
|The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility|