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AUM in Action

Non-State Shareholders Back Equinor Climate Proposal

An estimated 32.1% of non-state shareholders (6.46% of total votes) were in favour of a shareholder proposal calling for petroleum refining company Equinor to align its climate strategy and capital expenditure with the Paris Agreement. The resolution – which was filed by Sarasin & Partners, Sampension, Achmea Investment Management and West Yorkshire Pension Fund –asked the company to specify how its plans for new oil and gas reserve development would be consistent with climate goals. Investors including Storebrand, Robeco and Railpen voted in support of the resolution. “Equinor’s non-state investors are extremely concerned that the company lacks the ability and willingness to align with global temperature goals,” said Martin Norman, Investor Engagement Lead at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR). “The Norwegian government – Equinor’s majority shareholder – has already made it clear the company needs to implement Paris-aligned targets and measures in the short- and long-term, and now a large number of its remaining shareholders have shown they expect a similar strategic shift.” In addition, an estimated 16.4% of non-state votes (3.22% of the total) were cast in favour of a separate resolution calling for Equinor to ensure at least half of its board members are competent on addressing matters such as energy transition and sustainability. “This should be a wake-up call for Equinor’s board and management,” said Norman. “The pressure on them to deliver real reductions in emissions will only increase from here.”

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