Breakthrough in USA: SEC forces oil companies to hold investor votes on emission targets

Financial Times – March 20 2021

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has directed two of America’s biggest oil companies to hold shareholder votes on far-reaching new emissions targets, as the regulator adopts a tougher approach to climate under the Biden administration.

“They are wasting no time,” said Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This, a Dutch shareholder group that filed the motion against Conoco. “I think it’s really impressive that less than two months after the inauguration there is a completely new spirit at the SEC.”

The SEC denied requests from both ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum to throw out shareholder motions that would force them to lay out detailed plans for cutting their so-called “Scope 3” emissions — those from the burning of their products by customers.

Both companies had argued that the proposals, to be presented at their annual meetings, sought to micromanage their operations — grounds under which the regulator had allowed companies to reject similar proposals under the Trump administration.

Read the entire article in the Financial Times