‘Change is Coming.’ Activists Just Scored Big Wins Against ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell

Time – The transition away from fossil fuels has come in fits and starts in recent years. On Wednesday, it took a giant lurch forward.

At Chevron, the vote to cut emissions followed years of pressure from the Dutch activist group Follow This. The group’s resolution—which received support from 61% of shareholders, according to a preliminary count—called for the company to “substantially reduce” emissions from the end use of their product—a bucket of emissions known as Scope 3 emissions.

Mark van Baal, who founded Follow This, attributes the rise in shareholder interest in climate resolutions to a new way of thinking among investors. “The shift I’ve seen in the last five years is that investors don’t vote with the best interest of the company in mind, but with the best interest of entire portfolio in mind,” he says.

Even with the dramatic shift in trajectory in multiple major companies in recent days, oil won’t disappear overnight. But Wednesday’s developments further chipped away at the case for building a business around oil without planning for its decline.

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