Activists push for change at oil company general meetings

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

‘Great Oil’ has come under fire from investors and nonprofits accusing companies of moving from denying action on climate change to delaying it.

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

Existing climate strategies are in contention with a range of investor groups working to target emissions reductions.

Data from Follow This, a Dutch activist investor and campaign group, and investor advocacy group Ceres shows that investors in BP, ConocoPhillips, Enbridge, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, Marathon, Occidental, Phillips 66, Shell , Total Energies and Valero Energy have proposed resolutions requiring 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 accord. Their shareholders must compel them – and, if necessary, force them – to change.

Investors in companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron voted for climate-related resolutions last year, and campaign groups are hoping for similar successes in 2022.

The majority of oil and gas companies in the United States and Europe now have net zero goals in place for 2050, as well as shorter-term emissions reduction targets.

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