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Activists Push for Change at Oil Company AGMs

Investors and campaign groups are seeking to up the pressure on fossil fuel firms

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
Activists Push for Change at Oil Company AGMs

Climate-related shareholder votes are set to spike throughout the 2022 proxy season for oil and gas companies, according to data from campaign groups.

‘Big Oil’ is coming under fire from investors and non-profits accusing companies of shifting from denying climate change actions to delaying them.

As oil and gas companies prepare to host their annual shareholder meetings, however, investors seem set to make their voices heard on environmental issues.

Existing climate strategies are up for votes along with a range of investor groups working to target emission reductions.

Data from Follow This, a Dutch activist investor and campaign group, and investor advocacy group Ceres show that investors in BP, ConocoPhillips, Enbridge, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, Marathon, Occidental, Phillips 66, Shell, Total Energies, and Valero Energy have proposed resolutions requiring the companies to adopt greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The data shows 27 climate-related resolutions filed at 16 companies for this year, as of April 25, 2022.

Follow This founder Mark van Baal said: “Big Oil will make or break the Paris climate agreement. Their shareholders need to compel them — and, if needed, force them — to change.”

Last year saw investors at companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron voting for climate-related resolutions, and campaign groups are hoping for similar successes in 2022.

The majority of oil and gas companies across the US and Europe have now set 2050 net-zero targets in place, alongside some shorter-term emission reduction aims.

The resolutions follow the recent action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has mandated US companies to annually report their Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions.

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