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Investors miss opportunity to urge ExxonMobil and Chevron to drive down emissions by 2030 as votes for Follow This climate resolution fall 

Investors enable US supermajors to continue to cause climate breakdown 

DRAFT PRESS RELEASE 

At the close of Big Oil’s AGM season, a most investors miss the opportunity to urge ExxonMobil and Chevron to drive down emissions as votes for the Follow This climate resolution fall to 11% at ExxonMobil (from 28% in 2022) and 10% at Chevron (from 33% in 2022), the companies announced at their AGMs today. 

 

“It’s incomprehensible that most investors still accept these supermajors’ refusal to cut emissions this decade,” responds Mark van Baal, the founder of Follow This. “They all know the science: to avoid climate disaster, global emissions must almost halve by 2030. Chevron has no serious target (an intensity target of 5.2% by 2028) and ExxonMobil has no Scope 3 target at all.” 

 

“We have made it easy for investors to use the power of their votes, but most investors have yet to decouple short-term profits from long-term risks for the company and their portfolios.” 

 

Earlier, the Follow This climate resolutions received 17% of the votes at BP, 20% at Shell, and 30% at TotalEnergies. 

 

BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street and anti-ESG 

“Anti-ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) sentiments and short-term profits might have played a role for investors. BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, the world’s largest asset managers have succumbed to this pressure and most probably have voted against as they did in 2022 (votes will be published in the second half of the year).” 

“We thank the investors who voted in favour for their determination to achieve Paris. These investors recognise climate risk for the company and the global economy. We hope that other investors will follow their leadership and view future AGMs as retakes to correct their oversight.” 

Five institutional investors co-filed one or more climate resolutions 

For the first time, twenty institutional investors (managing over $2 trillion in assets) co-filed one or more Follow This climate resolutions. 

 

“We thank the co-filers, AXA IM (at Chevron), Achmea IM and Van Lanschot Kempen (ExxonMobil), and Degroof Petercam AM and Arjuna Capital at Chevron and ExxonMobil, and the investors who followed their leadership with their votes. These investors voted as true stewards of the global economy.” 

 

Climate resolutions provide clarity 

“Votes on climate resolutions expose which investors are determined to drive down emissions this decade and which investors allow oil majors to postpone emission reductions.” – Scientists say the world must almost halve emissions by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. ExxonMobil and Chevron have no targets that will lead to large-scale emissions reductions this decade, the request of the climate resolutions. 

 

“Investors that voted in favour of these climate resolutions recognize this vote as the most effective tool to urge ExxonMobil and Chevron to drive down emissions by 2030.” 

 

“Clients of institutional investors, such as pension funds, will be watching how their asset managers voted to gauge their competence as long-term value stewards.” 

 

Follow This addresses shareholders instead of board during the AGM 

“Your board is determined to cling to their carbon-based business model, because they think that’s what you want, fellow shareholders,” Mark van Baal said in his statement during the AGM. “Your board will only choose a different road if you, the owners of the company, vote for change.[…] Ultimately, it is in the Company’s and its shareholders’ best interest to pursue the opportunities the energy transition presents; this will also pre-empt risks of losing access to capital markets, policy interventions, litigation, liability for the costs of climate change, disruptive innovation, and stranded assets.” 

 

No Scope 3 targets 

“Due to the lack of Paris-aligned targets, Chevron’s and Exxon’s investments are still heavily tied to fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “[recent] windfalls gains provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity […] for major oil and gas companies to […] diversify their spending.” 

 

“Many investors recognize that Big Oil’s current cash position presents a historic opportunity to lead the transition by investing oil and gas profits in future business models in renewable energy.” 

 

Votes against directors 

Due to the two US super majors’ failure to set Paris align their businesses with a 1.5°C pathway, Majority Action had recommended votes against several ExxonMobil directors, including CEO and Chairman Darren W. Woods, and against Chevron’s entire board.  

 

“Though heavily outnumbered today, responsible investors are still using their voting power to tackle the climate crisis. We thank these investors for their determination to achieve the Paris goal. We expect that their peers will turn around in the future to follow their lead.” 

 

“Without a shareholder mandate to adopt and implement targets to reduce the lion’s share of their emissions (i.e. Scope 3), these companies will continue to externalise the climate costs of their oil and gas business, threatening entire portfolios held by diversified investors.” 

 

The resolutions request 2030 emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

The votes at ExxonMobil’s and Chevron’s AGMs conclude Big Oil’s 2023 AGM season with climate resolutions at all five supermajors.  

With best regards on behalf of the Follow This team,  

Mark van Baal +31 6 22 42 45 42 (English) [email protected]McKenzie Ursch +31 6 40 16 26 72 [email protected]Jesper Vaarwerk +31 6 83 13 97 36 (Dutch) [email protected]

Attachments: climate resolutions ShellBPChevron, and ExxonMobil, and TotalEnergies.Press images

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