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BP releases trade associations report

Release date:
26 February 2020
BP leaves three trade associations over climate change differences

BP has announced it will be leaving three associations due to misalignment on climate policy, citing its support of the Paris Agreement goals and net zero ambition as reasons for withdrawing membership.


The decision follows an in-depth review assessing the alignment between BP’s position on climate change and the energy transition and the views held by 30 key trade associations to which it belongs.


In the introduction to the report, released today, BP’s CEO, Bernard Looney, says:


“Where our views and those of an association cannot be reconciled, then we recognize that it may be better if BP withdrew its membership.”



Aligning policy

The six-month review looked at the current and recent policy positions of 30 trade associations and compared them with BP’s positions. It found:

The three associations deemed not to be aligned with BP are Western Energy Alliance (WEA), Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). The reasons are:

  • WEA – not aligned on federal regulation of methane in the US.
  • WSPA –  not aligned on carbon pricing.
  • AFPM – not aligned on carbon pricing.

Earlier this month, BP introduced its ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 and to help the world get to net zero, along with 10 aims to underpin the ambition. These included an aim to set new expectations for BP’s relationships with trade associations around the globe. 


Earning trust

The review acknowledges that some in society have lost trust in BP and the industry more widely because of seeming inconsistencies between public statements and lobbying and advocacy.


Bernard Looney says: “If BP is to stand a chance of achieving our ambition, then we have to earn back people’s trust.”


BP is a member of many trade associations around the world, in part, so that its views on a variety of topics can be considered.  BP believes these memberships can provide significant benefits – from contributing to the development of equipment, operating and safety standards through to working with regulators, knowledge sharing and professional development. Some trade associations engage in lobbying and advocacy on matters which they consider to be important to their members.

Bernard’s view on LinkedIn

“People do not want us to tell them we are a good company. They want us to prove it.” 

Alongside the review, BP's CEO has written to major trade association partners to offer clarity on BP’s position on climate change, stating:

  • We support the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Our ambition is to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get there too.
  • We intend to actively advocate for policies that support this ambition.We support transparency – especially on lobbying and advocacy.


Next steps

The review is a first step in an ongoing process that will see BP continuing 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.

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