Stewardship | May 26, 2021

Shareholders notch historic climate wins against Big Oil

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, May 26 – Big Oil is taking a big climate beating from shareholders and in the courts today.

  • A Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by a net 45% by 2030.
  • Chevron shareholders approved a proposal for the company to cut “Scope 3” emissions, those generated by the use of its product.
  • At Exxon, activist investor Engine No. 1 won at least two board seats for directors calling for climate action in a hotly contested election.

“This is one of those days that will be seen in retrospect as a day when everything changed,” said Ceres’ Andrew Logan

Halfway through the proxy season, emboldened shareholders pushing for more accountability on environmental and social issues have notched historic wins. The message to companies: get on board with the net zero transition, or we will vote you out.

“The months-long campaign to shake up Exxon and the accelerating momentum towards a net-zero future,” we wrote in a preview of today’s drama, “have shifted the ground beneath the largest U.S. oil company, and disrupted the playbook it has deployed for decades to fend off climate concerns.”