On the same day activists in Europe scored a big win against Royal Dutch Shell, both ExxonMobile and Chevron’s shareholders pressed for immediate change in how the oil and gas industry prepares for a low-carbon future.
A bad day for big oil as climate activists score a hat trick
A small hedge fund dealt a massive blow to Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday 26 May, unseating at least two board members in a bid to force the company’s leadership to adjust its business strategy to match global efforts to combat climate change. On the same day, Chevron Corp’s shareholders voted for a proposal to reduce emissions from the company’s customers. Meanwhile, in Europe, also on Wednesday 26 May, a court in the Netherlands ordered Royal Dutch Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% within 10 years.
Chevron customers must reduce emissions, say shareholders
On Wednesday 26 May, Chevron Corp’s shareholders voted for a proposal to reduce emissions from the company’s customers. A preliminary tally found 61% of investors backed the proposal at the company’s annual investor meeting, rebuffing the company’s board, which had urged shareholders to reject it.
Bloomberg Green reported that an item asking Chevron to report on how a significant reduction in fossil-fuel demand would affect its business and a request for a report on political lobbying were narrowly voted down.
Activists replace two Exxon board members with own candidates
Meanwhile, Exxon suffered a historic defeat as it failed to defend its board against a coup launched by dissident hedge fund activists at Engine No. 1 which successfully replaced two Exxon board members with its own candidates to help drive the oil company towards a greener strategy.
According to preliminary results, two nominees put up by activist investor Engine No 1 were voted onto the board. Eight existing ExxonMobil board members were re-elected.
Shareholders had the choice of voting between ExxonMobil’s 12 current directors and four from Engine No 1 at the virtual annual meeting.
HISTORICAL FIRST AS JUDGE GOLDS A CORPORATION LIABLE FOR CAUSING DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE
For the first time in history, a judge has held a corporation liable for causing dangerous climate change. On Wednesday 26 May 2021, as a result of legal action brought by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) together with 17,000 co-plaintiffs and six other organisations, the court in The Hague ruled that Shell must reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% within 10 years. This historic verdict has enormous consequences for Shell and other big polluters globally. Read more.
GREEN SHAREHOLDERS CHANGE THE WORLD: FOLLOW THIS
The oil industry can make or break the Paris climate agreement. But we have the power to change oil companies from within – as shareholders. Follow This unites responsible shareholders to push Big Oil to go green. Business as usual is over. Learn more.