How to reform the oil industry from within

Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This, explains in an interview with American magazine Mother Jones why oil companies have to change – and how shareholders can play a crucial role in that process.

“Investors have to step up. The only way these companies are going to change is when investors massively vote for these kinds of resolutions. Because otherwise they can always claim that investors are happy with their behavior. With this group of retail shareholders, we’re able to show that there’s a large group of people who want these companies to change and see them as part of the solution. So we file the shareholder resolutions, we make sure it’s on the agenda, and investors have to vote—but we need the big institutional investors to really persuade them.

We have a very simple and consistent ask: Commit yourself to the Paris agreement, commit yourself to emission reductions in line with the agreement. And science basically dictates it. If we were to have any chance to achieve the Paris agreement, emissions have to be cut by 40 percent by 2030, approximately, and have to be zero by 2050. That’s the scientific translation. So, radical emission reductions in the next 10 years. That’s the only thing we asked for.

Read the full story on Mother Jones

 

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