BP

InfluenceMap Score
C-
Performance Band
64%
Organisation Score
50%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
London, United Kingdom
Brands and Associated Companies:
Castrol, AMPM, Wild Bean Cafe, Aral
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: BP is strategically engaged across multiple aspects of climate and energy policy. BP’s top line statements on climate change appear to have improved since 2015, especially since 2020 with the arrival of the new CEO Bernard Looney. However, engagement with detailed climate policy and regulation appears to remain mixed.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In February 2020, BP set out on social media its new ambition, which includes the pledge to ‘help the world get to net zero’. Responding to an EU consultation on the sustainable finance taxonomy in 2020, BP also declared its support of the EU’s goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050 while in a September 2020 press release, BP declared its support for the EU’s updated 2030 GHG target.

BP’s position on the need for general climate regulation appears to focused on the need for a carbon price. While in 2020, the company stated on its website that any policies additional to carbon pricing should be “limited in number, and tightly focusing on correcting market failures”. However, in October 2021, BP supported ‘robust climate provisions’ in the US Build Back Better Act, which includes carbon pricing mechanisms amongst other forms of policy, as part of a joint letter addressed to US congressional leadership while BP CEO Bernard Looney also reinforced the need for climate regulations in a press release in August 2021 stating that an EU economy-wide carbon price would help bolster the Fit for 55 package. In its January 2021 climate policy positions document, BP stated that there is a need for increased climate policy and regulation to incentivize economy-wide decarbonization in line with the Paris goals, adding that it believed carbon pricing was the most ‘economically efficient’ policy mechanism to achieve this.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: BP’s communications on specific climate-related regulations also appears to be improving. In 2018, BP spent over $13m to oppose carbon pricing regulation in the US state of Washington which would have placed a $15 fee on every ton of CO2 produced. However, more recently its position appears to have changed. In November 2020, BP communicated support for ‘effective’ carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems on its website. However, in March 2021, in a joint email signed by ‘BP Raffinaderij Rotterdam BV’ to Vice-President Timmermans obtained through an FOI request, the refinery appeared to have advocated directly to the European Commission against the introduction of a national CO2 tax in the Netherlands, arguing that any such measures should be imposed at a European level. BP later clarified its position in May 2020 in a letter to the Dutch trade association VNO-NCW, where it stated it disagreed with the association's position and appeared to support the Dutch CO2 tax. Similarly, in the previous month, April 2020, BP sent a letter to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in which it appeared to contest CAPP’s support for a freeze in the Canadian Carbon Price at 2020 levels.

In regard to emissions trading, BP’s engagement also appears to be mostly positive. In September 2020, BP formed a business coalition advocating East Coast states to enact the Transportation and Climate Initiative, a cap-and-trade initiative targeting emissions from the transport sector while similarly also supporting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and encouraging more states to join. Through its corporate website, it has also stated support for Washington State’s Senate Bill 5126, which would allow for the creation of a cap-and-trade scheme for the state, with BP’s senior vice president for communications and advocacy testifying in favor of the bill to the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee in January 2021. In the EU, however, BP appears to have been less positive. In an EU consultation comment submitted in June 2020, it opposed the reduction of free allowances allocated for industry under the EU ETS.

BP appears to have a mixed stance towards renewable energy legislation, in comments submitted to the consultation on the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) Revision in February 2021, BP advocated for a technology neutral approach, promoting non-renewable and low-carbon fuels equally to renewable fuels while also opposing the expansion of the RED to aviation and maritime sectors. However, the company did support ambitious targets for sustainable aviation fuels as part of the ReFuelEU initiative.

Regarding greenhouse gas regulations, BP’s messaging appears to be mixed. In comments submitted to the EU, BP stated it supported new rules to prevent methane leakage in the energy sector on January 2021. However, in May 2020, BP submitted recommendations to the EU on the Methane Strategy, advocating for an intensity-based standard, rather than an absolute limit on emissions, and for compliance flexibilities. In the US, in 2019, BP advocated for the Environmental Protection Agency to retain federal methane regulations, however, added that methane emissions regulations must not place an unreasonable burden on companies or consumers. BP also lobbied in 2019 to oppose a new GHG emissions reduction requirement added by the Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority to the planning approval process.

Positioning on Energy Transition: While BP appears to message positively surrounding the energy transition, it continues to support a long-term role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, while its communications on policy related to the energy transition appears to be mixed. In BP’s 2020 sustainability report, published in March 2021, BP published its ‘six beliefs about the energy transition’ where it stated that while renewables and electrification will grow, it also believes that ‘Oil and gas challenged but will remain part of the energy mix for decades’.

In the same sustainability report, BP disclosed a number of regional climate policies that the company was supporting. It stated that it supported clean energy legislation in Illinois, which included incentives for renewable energy and EV infrastructure. Similarly, CEO Bernard Looney stated support for the UK’s accelerated phase-out of ICE cars and vans. Away from its primary messaging, in BP’s 2021 Q3 lobbying disclosure, BP appeared to lobby in favor of an extension of tax credits for renewable energy under the Build Back Better Act in the US. While in 2020, BP supported a letter written by the Energy Transition Commission which stated supporting for ‘unleashing massive investment in renewable power systems’ and making government support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic conditional on climate commitments.

However, in an October 2020 consultation on the EU Energy Taxation Directive, BP supported removing tax exemptions for aviation and maritime fuels, but also advocated for special tax treatment for electricity for industries at risk of carbon leakage. In December 2020, BP proposed various amendments to the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy that do not appear to fully support the transition of the energy mix, including supporting raising the carbon intensity threshold for natural gas to qualify under the taxonomy as a transitional fuel and also advocated for weaker GHG intensity thresholds which could allow blue hydrogen with lower rates of carbon capture and storage in the taxonomy. It also did not support the exclusion of vehicles transporting fossil fuels from the taxonomy. While in 2019, the company lobbied the Trump Administration to allow oil and gas drilling in two previously protected areas of the Alaskan Artic.

Industry Association Governance: In 2021, BP released a progress update based on its previous association review, in which it gives details of any misalignment on climate change policy with industry associations it holds a membership with. However, BP only disclosed details of its influence within associations it found to be ‘partially aligned’, with no details given on memberships it has found to be ‘aligned’. BP outlined its on-going engagement with five “partially aligned” associations, (American Petroleum Institute, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, National Association of Manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, and Australian Institute of Petroleum). Nevertheless, BP remains a member of these associations. Although BP has publicly declared misalignment with the Dutch association VNO-NCW on its carbon tax position, it was found to be fully aligned with the association in its 2021 review. However, in 2020, BP left American Fuels and Petroleum Manufacturers and the Western States Petroleum Association after finding major misalignment with these associations in its 2020 industry association review.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
72%
 
72%
 
50%
 
50%
 
62%
 
62%
 
48%
 
48%
 
39%
 
39%
 
27%
 
27%
 
23%
 
23%
 
53%
 
53%
 
47%
 
47%
 
41%
 
41%
 
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42%
 
34%
 
34%
 
59%
 
59%
 
44%
 
44%
 
43%
 
43%
 
75%
 
75%
 
51%
 
51%
 
67%
 
67%
 
41%
 
41%
 
57%
 
57%
 
51%
 
51%
 
45%
 
45%
 
35%
 
35%
 
58%
 
58%
 
53%
 
53%
 
68%
 
68%
 
85%
 
85%
 
44%
 
44%
 
27%
 
27%
 
74%
 
74%
 
63%
 
63%
 
60%
 
60%
 
45%
 
45%
 
36%
 
36%
 
40%
 
40%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.