UK oil major to leave three U.S. trade associations in push for low carbon future

UK oil major BP has said that, following an in-depth review examining the alignment of the climate-related policies and activities of trade associations with BP’s positions, it will leave three U.S.-based organizations in an effort to reach its target of becoming a net-zero company by 2050.

BP CEO Bernard Looney; Source: BP

BP said on Wednesday it would leave American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA).

Earlier this month, BP introduced its ambition to become a net-zero company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get to net-zero, as well as ten aims that underpin it. These include the aim to set new expectations for relationships with trade associations around the globe – the review published on Wednesday and continuing engagement with these organizations on climate is part of this aim, BP explained.

BP CEO, Bernard Looney, said: “Trade associations have long demonstrated how we can make progress through collaboration, particularly in areas such as safety, standards, and training. This approach should also be brought to bear on the defining challenge that faces us all – supporting the rapid transition to a low carbon future. By working together, we can achieve so much more.

“BP will pursue opportunities to work with organizations who share our ambitious and progressive approach to the energy transition. And when differences arise we will be transparent. But if our views cannot be reconciled, we will be prepared to part company.

“My hope is that in the coming years we can add climate to the long list of areas where, as an industry, we work together for a greater good.”

BP’s review of climate-related activities

Over the past six months, BP has conducted a review of how key trade associations’ climate-related activities and policy positions align with BP’s positions.

Thirty associations – concentrated in North America, Europe, and Australia – were selected for review and their current and recent policy positions, based on publicly available information, were assessed. As a result, they were determined to be aligned, partially aligned or not aligned with BP’s positions.

BP said that, for three organizations, it had found misalignments that could not be reconciled. Due to material differences regarding policy positions on carbon pricing BP will leave American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).

Due to material differences around the federal regulation of methane, as well as asset divestments in the states in which the organization is active, it will not renew its membership with the Western Energy Alliance (WEA).

BP has identified a further five organizations with which it is only partially aligned on climate. BP has communicated these differences to these associations.

BP has also communicated clear expectations with regards to climate positions and transparency to all associations within the scope of the review.

BP concluded that this was an ongoing process and that the company would actively monitor its memberships, participation, and alignment with trade associations to which it belongs and will provide periodic updates, internally to the board of directors and to stakeholders as appropriate. BP plans to undertake another review in around two years’ time.