BP's inclusion in FTSE4Good index 'inappropriate'

Tuesday, 10 July 2001

BP's inclusion in FTSE4Good index "inappropriate" say Tibet campaigners

Tibet campaigners have expressed their disappointment that BP, a company with investments in the exploitation of Tibetan natural resources, is listed in the ethical index, FTSE4Good, which announced its constituents earlier today. Companies included in the index are deemed to have passed "selection criteria with regards to environmental sustainability, relationships with stakeholders and supporting universal human rights."

"This index should be about actions, not just words" said Alison Reynolds of Free Tibet Campaign. "Given the accelerating political objectives of the Chinese government, investment in Tibet must be regarded as an ethical issue; something both BP and the FTSE4Good index have failed to take on board. Regardless of its stated commitment to human rights, BP's inclusion in the index is inappropriate." she added.

Tibet campaigners attracted the support of over £3.8 billion value of shares at BP's AGM in April, for a resolution demanding divestment from PetroChina, on the grounds that PetroChina's activities in the Tibetan region of Amdo undermined BP's ethical commitments. Additionally, BP is one of three major consortia bidding for a role in PetroChina's future development, which would involve the construction of a 3000km 'West-East' pipeline from the politically sensitive area of East Turkestan (Xinjiang) to Shanghai.

In February UK Trade Minister Richard Caborn raised the need for adequate social and environmental impact assessments for major infrastructure developments such as the West-East pipeline. Tibet campaigners have written to BP asking for details of what studies have been carried out, and how BP would propose to implement such a project in accordance with its policies. No information is currently available.

For more information contact: Alison Reynolds, 020 7833 9958, Mobile 07711 843884

Note: The Tibet organisations campaigning against BP's investment in PetroChina include Free Tibet Campaign, the International Campaign for Tibet, the Milarepa Fund, Students for a Free Tibet and the US Tibet Committee.