Leaving organizations not aligned with company’s climate position

Energy giant BP announced today that it will leave 3 US-based trade associations, due to their incompatibility with the company’s climate policies.  The move follows a six-month review of the alignment of trade associations’ climate related activities relative to BP’s positions. Of the 30 associations selected for review, 3 were determined to be “not aligned,” while another 5 were only partially aligned. BP has communicated its policy differences with the ‘partially aligned’ organizations.

BP’s announcement is part of a broader move by the company to boost its climate profile. Earlier this month the company outlined an ambitious, multifaceted sustainability plan including targeting net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operations worldwide by 2050, increasing investment allocation to non-oil and gas businesses and advocating for net zero policies, such as carbon pricing. One of the facets of the earlier announcements was to “set new expectations for relationships with trade associations.”

The 3 associations BP will exit are:

  • American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). APFM has over 450 member organizations, and advocates for public policies on behalf of the petroleum and petrochemical sectors. BP is on the board of AFPM.
  • Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA). WSPA consists of 16 energy companies that account for the bulk of petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation, and marketing in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. BP will leave WSPA and AFPM due to policy differences regarding carbon pricing.
  • Western Energy Alliance (WEA). WEA is an association that represents over 300 oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Western US. BP will not renew its WEA membership due to policy differences regarding the federal regulation of methane, and due to divestments the company has made in some western states.

Commenting on today’s trade organization announcement, 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 organisations 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.”