Earlier this week BP announced it will leave three industry associations because the company says there is a “misalignment on climate policy” with the associations.
BP cut ties with the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).
The company recently conducted a six-month review that examined the recent policy positions of 30 trade associations. The review found the WEA is not aligned on federal regulation of methane in the US with BP and the energy giant says both WSPA and AFPM are not aligned with BP on carbon pricing.
Company CEO, Bernard Looney said in a report issued by the company “Where our views and those of an association cannot be reconciled, then we recognize that it may be better if BP withdrew its membership.”
BP supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and is looking to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The company says it is also looking to help the world get to net zero and has 10 aims to underpin the ambition, including setting new expectations for BP’s relationships with trade associations globally.
Despite the lofty goals, in its review, BP says it acknowledges that some people have lost trust in BP and the industry more widely because of seeming inconsistencies between public statements and lobbying and advocacy.
Looney says: “If BP is to stand a chance of achieving our ambition, then we have to earn back people’s trust.”
The company has also vowed to advocate for policies that support its net zero by 2050 goal. As well, BP says it supports transparency, especially on lobbying and advocacy.
BP says it is a member of many trade associations around the world, in part, so that its views on a variety of topics can be considered.
“Our priority is to work to influence within trade associations, but we may publicly dissent or resign our membership if there is material misalignment on high-priority issues,” said Looney.
BP says these memberships can provide significant benefits, including contributing to the development of equipment, operating and safety standards through to working with regulators, knowledge sharing and professional development.
As well, some trade associations engage in lobbying and advocacy on matters which they consider to be important to their members.
BP says it will continue to engage with trade bodies on climate issues while actively monitoring its memberships, participation and alignment. It plans to provide periodic updates to its board of directors and stakeholders as appropriate, and to undertake another review in around two years’ time.