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BP climate resolution update: new backers include Aviva, Jupiter, Schroders, USS, Natixis, PKA, Robeco

New investors declare support for ‘Aiming for A’ as ISS issues a ‘For’ recommendation

The latest investor supporters of the “Aiming for A” climate resilience shareholder proposal at oil major BP have been revealed.

They include Aviva Investors, Jupiter Fund Management, Schroders and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) in the UK and Europe-based institutions Natixis Asset Management, Denmark’s PKA Denmark and Robeco. They have thrown their weight behind ‘Resolution 25’ that has been coordinated by CCLA and the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF).

The resolution – which seeks to get BP into the top band of environmental data body CDP’s A-E rankings – will go to the vote at BP’s annual meeting on April 16. It will have the backing of the company itself and proxy advisory firm ISS.

Leading pension funds Local Government Super (LGS) Australia, Finland’s Ilmarinen and Sweden’s state funds AP2, AP3 and AP4 have already signalled their support.

CalPERS, the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and Vermont Pension Investment Committee are major US asset owners backing the resolution. F&C Investments and AXA Investment Managers initially declared their position earlier this month alongside Railpen and Royal London Asset Management.

Additional declarations are expected by the investor coalition in the run-up to the AGM. Twenty-five LAPFF funds and many charity and faith based investor groups have already signalled their voting intentions.The resolution is being assisted by environmental law group ClientEarth and campaign group ShareAction.

The ‘Aiming for A’ initiative achieved the 100 shareholders needed under UK law to file an AGM resolution in January 2015. A list of 50 UK and international institutional co-filers can be found here. A similar resolution has also been filed for Royal Dutch Shell’s AGM on May 16. Under UK law, a Special Resolution such as this requires 75% shareholder support to carry.

It comes as governance firm ISS Proxy Advisory Services is recommending backing the resolution at BP as it “encourages further enhancements to the company’s existing disclosures on a key long- term issue, climate change”.

It notes BP itself is recommending support “which suggests that it does not believe the information requested by the filers will be particularly onerous or costly to assemble”.

ISS said: “It is worthwhile to emphasise that a board recommendation of support for a shareholder resolution is an extremely rare occurrence, in the UK and elsewhere…In the absence of any obvious concerns, and taking into account the Board’s favourable recommendation, shareholder support for this resolution is warranted.” A list of investors who have declared support is available here.