Oil majors face shareholder resolutions on climate change

INVESTORS CONCERNED about climate change have never been better organised, thanks to Climate Action 100+, a coalition with more than $33trn in assets under management. Nor have they ever had more success. Last year shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell persuaded it to pledge emissions reductions from both its operations and its products. In May BP’s shareholders voted to require the European oil-and-gas giant to disclose how its strategy matches the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Edward Mason, the head of responsible investment for the Church of England, sees “a gulf opening between the European supermajors and the American ones”. On May 29th the shareholders of ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest listed energy company, and Chevron, another American major, voted against climate resolutions. Yet even in Europe green investors’ impact is more a ripple than a wave.

In America oilmen have been shielded in part by regulators. Even before ExxonMobil’s annual meeting, America’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sided with the company by agreeing that an emissions resolution brought by the Church of England and New York state’s retirement fund amounted to micromanagement. This allowed the motion to be omitted from its proxy materials.

At the same time, some big asset managers have become more restrained. In...

via Business Feeds

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