Week of Reckoning Continues for Oil and Gas Firms

Oil and gas majors ExxonMobil and Chevron held their AGMs yesterday, with the majority of shareholders backing climate-related proposals. Fifty-two percent of Exxon’s shareholders called for the company to publish an audited report outlining how the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) net zero by 2050 roadmap would impact assumptions, costs, estimates and valuations underlying its financial statements. Another shareholder resolution challenging Exxon’s virgin and single-use plastic production and asking for a report describing the potential impacts a significant reduction would have on its business received a 37.4% vote from shareholders. At Chevron, 98% of shareholders voted in favour of a management-backed resolution requiring the company to calculate its methane emissions and publish a report comparing the results with previously published estimates. Meanwhile, 39% of shareholders voted in favour of a resolution asking the company to provide quantitative information on how the IEA’s 2050 roadmap will affect the company’s financial position. Danielle Fugere, President of US shareholder advocacy NGO As You Sow, said: “Chevron’s business plan and its audited financial statements appear to assume business as usual. It is therefore reasonable for investors to seek clear and quantitative information on the impact a low-carbon transition would have on Chevron’s current and future financial standing. With this strong vote, investors have made it clear that companies must fully address how the global transition away from fossil fuels will affect their companies’ bottom lines and future success.” 

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