Activists force vote over BP's Arctic ambitions

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The Independent Online

Environmentalists will again descend on BP's annual general meeting next week, demanding that the oil giant stay out of "protected and sensitive areas".

Environmentalists will again descend on BP's annual general meeting next week, demanding that the oil giant stay out of "protected and sensitive areas".

Campaigners, who have bought BP shares, have put down a special resolution that will be put to the vote at the event, to be held in London on Thursday.

Activists, led by US Public Interest Research Group (US Pirg), are particularly concerned about BP's stated interest in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The resolution, if passed, would force BP to produce a report on the "risks to shareholder value from operating in protected and sensitive environments". According to US Pirg, BP is in danger of falling behind some of its competitors if it does not adopt a "no-go" policy for such areas.

A BP spokesman said the issue of opening up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge was "a decision for the American people". The company has recommended voting against the resolution. It has told shareholders: "Rather than operate a blanket 'no-go' policy, we assess each potential site for investment case-by-case, thoroughly examining the risks of development."

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