Last Thursday, Follow This thanked outgoing Shell CEO Ben van Beurden for crossing the Rubicon on Scope 3 emissions and welcomed Wael Sawan. The Incoming Shell CEO has ‘most challenging job in history’ of oil giant (Energy Voice). He needs the support of his shareholders to drastically cut emissions during his tenure.
We are still convinced that oil majors will only take the bold and brave decisions needed to cut emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement when they have secured unequivocal support of their shareholders.
The only way to formalise your support is with your votes.
As we write this, no single oil major has had the confidence to set Paris-consistent targets, as the CA100+ benchmark confirmed. The fact that a majority of their shareholders voted against Paris-consistent targets in 2022, confirmed their belief that their shareholders don’t want them to drastically cut emissions this decade.
We are sure this is not what most responsible investors want.
Therefore, climate resolutions will still be necessary in 2023. Follow This intends to file climate resolution at four European and two to seven US oil majors, unless other shareholders file similar climate targets resolutions, to avoid duplication and – most important – because an institutional-led shareholder resolution could draw more votes. This was confirmed in 2022, when the climate proposal at Valero, filed by Mercy Investment Services, got the highest result, 42% of the votes.
In previous years, we have decided not to file our resolution in order to give way to institutional investors to file; for example by the end of 2018, we let the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Church Commissioners for England file a climate targets proposal at ExxonMobil on behalf of the CA100+ members (‘institutional investors with $1.9trn under management’; the shareholder proposal was blocked at the SEC).
Together with investors, we are currently in the process of rewriting climate resolutions for Big Oil’s 2023 AGM season.
We invite you to inform us confidentially if you
- could provide input for supportive and non-prescriptive climate resolutions at oil majors;
- intend to file a climate targets resolution at one of these oil majors (BP, Shell, Equinor, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, Phillips66, Valero; the filing deadline for TotalEnergies is in 2023) so we can refrain from filing or withdraw;
- consider to co-file a climate resolution with other investors and Follow This; or
- have any other insights and advice you like to share with us or other means of corporation you suggest.
When you send an email to [email protected], he will contact you.
We hope you can let us know if you want to participate as soon as possible, and by Friday October 7th latest; we would like to finalize the climate resolutions by the end of October.
Demand side engagement
Meanwhile, given your much larger capacity and clout, we hope you will continue to engage the energy demand side as strongly as you engage the supply side. Oil majors have asked Follow This specifically to shift our focus to the demand side. We are still convinced that the energy supply side is crucial to achieve the Paris Accord, but we like to ensure oil majors that the demand side is taken care of sufficiently by institutional investors.