July 6, 2022

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Index – Economy – Oil companies may be preparing for the rise of investors

Some of the world’s largest emitters may face a revolt from their own shareholders in May as they vote in the coming weeks at their annual public meetings on climate protection strategies and decisions to reduce emissions from their investors.

British Shell will hold its general meeting on May 24, while French Total Powers, US Chevron and ExxonMobil will hold their next day on the 25th. The CNBC According to his report, the 2015 Paris Agreement is increasingly being taken into account by oil companies, but real change cannot be achieved without even more intense pressure.

To date, no major oil or gas company has reached the goal of an agreement to control global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius before the Industrial Revolution. Mark Van Paul, founder of the follow-up activist group, says mere contact is not enough here. “They will change only if we speak clearly to them. The only way to do that is to vote,” he explained the strategy.

Geriatric Partners

Dutch Follow not only seeks to influence large companies through the public, but also acts as an investor in addition to its campaign activities. It also has stakes in several major oil companies and will present several climate protection initiatives this month. They are trying to force investors to take advantage of their position and force the energy sector to join the Paris Agreement.

According to Paul, there are no serious ideas in the contract, the expectations in it are reasonable demands that will benefit everyone. Oil companies generally disagree, with ConocoPhilips shareholders voting on Tuesday against proposing to include their customers’ emissions in their greenhouse gas reduction targets.

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Direct liability

In accordance with the Paris Agreement, the recommendation would lead to a tertiary indirect release in addition to the first and second direct issues, but the Board of Directors of the Company recommended that the shareholders reject the recommendation. They said many of their investors “expressed concern” that they would like to extend the company’s liability to this extent.

Despite the defeat in the poll, the follow-up submission has already reached 39 per cent support, making it clear that it was a great decision and that the patience of investors was endless. For example, investors in Chevron, Exxonmobil and Shell have already voted substantially last year on decisions to tackle climate change, and this year is expected to be a real turning point.

Their beliefs largely depend on the responsibilities of directors and institutional investors in large companies. In the case of shell, this is because it is a process that has been going on since May last year They are subject to court judgment Reduce steady emissions by 45% by 2030.

Stubborn driving

Shell, of course, appealed the verdict, but as he did in March We wroteAn activist organization called ClientEarth has filed a lawsuit directly with the board for failing to comply with its obligations.

Paulussen Advocaten’s environmental lawyers, who filed the original lawsuit, warned Shelley in April that “potential personal legal consequences” provide an additional reason to use the opportunity. [a klímavédelmi vállalások megszavazására]”.

Nevertheless, Shell continued to instruct its investors to vote on the follow-up submission at the May general meeting, which the company simply called “unrealistic”. Meanwhile, for example, TotalEnergies does not allow a recommendation and argues that the claim is contrary to French law.

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Activists can be optimistic

A counter example here is the Dutch, where nine out of ten large investors have already announced in advance that they will vote for climate protection plans. Paul says this is an extraordinary achievement, but they need a majority everywhere to get real results, and he hopes investors will see this as well.

Submissions have come a long way from following the 2.7 per cent support in 2016: by 2021, 30 per cent of investors have already backed the submission to the shell, and the UK corporate governance index should support more than 20 per cent. The company should consult on the concerns of its shareholders.

Paul said the oil industry was now trying to use the still-threatening energy crisis as an excuse to delay the introduction of climate protection measures. He thought it would be bad if it prevented shareholders from making the right decision.

(Cover: Just Stop Oil activists block the entrance to a shale gas station in the UK on April 28, 2022. Photo: Guy Smallman / Getty Images)