In the news: ‘Greater Action Needed From Oil and Gas’

Say on Climate-related news from Reuters, the Financial Times and more.
15 May 2024

From the latest climate issues facing oil and gas AGMs to reasons to be cheerful about corporate climate strategies, here is the latest news relating to Say on Climate: 

Independent investors urge Equinor to align strategy with climate goals

Reuters, May 13th 2024

Ahead of Equinor’s upcoming AGM, Reuters reports that two significant investors pledged support for a shareholder resolution which demands the oil giant adjust its strategy to meet global climate objectives. The proposal, initiated by UK-based Sarasin & Partners, urges the Norwegian oil producer to demonstrate how its new oil and gas development plans align with the Paris Agreement. Storebrand Asset Management and KLP, Equinor’s seventh and eighth-largest shareholders, intend to vote for the motion, emphasising the need for greater climate action from oil and gas companies.

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Woodside faces tough balancing act after investor revolt over climate

Financial Times, May 7th 2024

Woodside Energy faced significant backlash at its AGM, with 58.4% of shareholders rejecting its Climate Transition Action Plan, reports the Financial Times. Activist investors and protesters questioned the company’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050 while still investing in gas exploration. CEO Meg O’Neill defended the plan, which includes $5 billion in alternative energy investments. However, critics argue the plan is insufficient. The strong opposition suggests Woodside must better balance investor expectations for growth with climate action.

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GM faces investor vote on supply chain sustainability 

Governance Intelligence, May 8th 2024

At General Motors’ AGM on June 4th, shareholders will consider a proposal from Green Century Capital Management. This proposal seeks an annual report that outlines sustainability risks in GM’s supply chain, emphasising low-carbon materials and deforestation. However, according to Governance Intelligence, GM’s board is recommending against this proposal, citing their existing sustainability practices and transparency as sufficiently robust. 

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Cummins annual meeting: Shareholders consider linking executive pay to emissions reductions

The Republic, May 4th 2024

At their annual meeting on May 14th, Cummins Inc. shareholders will review a proposal submitted by As You Sow and Warren Wilson College, to link executive compensation to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The Republic reports that the initiative aims to align pay with the Paris Agreement’s climate objectives across Cummins’ full value chain. Despite this, the Cummins Board of Directors has advised against the proposal, arguing that it conflicts with ongoing sustainability strategies and the need for flexibility in executive compensation metrics.

Credit: Photo by Joshua Mayo on Unsplash
Reasons to be cheerful about corporate climate targets 

Financial Times, 13th May 2024

For the Financial Times, Matthew Vincent gives readers reasons ‘to be cheerful’ about corporate targets on climate. He writes that in 2000, BP rebranded with a focus on being more environmentally friendly but faced criticism for not investing enough in renewable energy. Years later, however, BP reduced its oil production goals, but some shareholders worried this could lower profits. Drawing on research by the Financial Times, Vincent shows that companies actively reducing their emissions do not see a negative impact on their financial returns, suggesting strong climate actions do not harm profits. 

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15 May 2024