Can activist investors really make a difference?

If you care about saving the planet, one campaigner argues it’s time to buy a stake in big oil firms.

  • Activist group Follow This is encouraging investors to buy shares in BP and Shell
  • It wants to empower investors to influence Big Oil companies from within
  • We spoke to Follow This founder Mark Van Baal on the impact it is having
  • We also explain how investors can exercise their shareholder vote and how this vote could influence a company’s emissions targets

When it comes to investing, in recent years, more have chosen to go down an ethical and sustainable route […]

Mark van Baal: ‘In the past year an unprecedented number of shareholders voted in favour of the Follow This Climate Resolutions; in Europe, votes more than doubled for the third time; votes more than doubled for the third time; and in the US votes reached historical majorities.

‘These major milestones would not have been possible without the growing number of investors that refuse to settle for company-issued disclosures, but insist on science-based emission reduction targets by voting for climate target resolutions.

‘So far, five oil majors have reluctantly set targets to reduce product emissions after shareholders’ votes, yet all fall short of Paris-consistency.

‘In 2022, voting must compel oil majors to set Paris-consistent targets; targets that lead to deep cuts in absolute emissions by 2030.’

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