April 16, 2015 / 5:48 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-BP shareholders back more disclosure on climate change risks

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(Adds details, background, quotes)

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - BP shareholders voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to publish regular updates on how its strategies were affecting climate change from next year, making it one of the first global oil companies to disclose such details.

Ninety-eight percent of BP shareholders supported the plan proposed by a group of investors and non-governmental organisations at its annual general meeting in London.

"This resolution is about disclosure, it's not about setting targets," said BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at the event. BP did not specify what shape the disclosures will take.

A number of shareholders at the meeting, including a representative of the $300 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, said voting through the resolution was fundamental to them retaining BP stocks.

Some of BP's top 20 shareholders including Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Schroders and AXA Investment Management, had declared their support ahead of the vote.

"I suspect that these will be the first of many board-supported shareholder resolutions on this topic during the critical 2015-20 climate policy making window," said Helen Wildsmith, head of ethical and responsible investment at CCLA, who lead the group's engagement with BP.

Outside the meeting, protesters displayed banners and posters against BP's involvement in Canada's tar sands oil exploration.

Shareholders at BP rival Shell will vote on the same resolution at the oil firm's annual general meeting in The Hague on May 19. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Mark Potter and Andrew Heavens)

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