Paris Stock Exchange Committee (HCJP) hears shareholder activist about the imperative of voting rights on climate targets

  • Group of green shareholders – Follow This – argues shareholder voting rights are imperative to compel TotalEnergies to take sufficient climate action.
  • “If investors are not able to vote on climate resolutions, they have lost control of the company.” – Tarek Bouhouch, Follow This

Monday, the High Legal Committee of Paris Stock Exchange (HCJP), invited Tarek Bouhouch of Follow This to testify about shareholder voting rights. The hearing follows TotalEnergies’ annual shareholders’ meeting in May when the board denied their shareholders the right to vote about a climate resolution requesting Paris-consistent emissions reduction targets.

Similar climate resolutions, filed by Follow This, have been on the ballot of the annual meetings of other oil majors such as Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, and Chevron. Bouhouch, representing Follow This, argued that TotalEnergies will not take sufficient climate action without shareholder democracy.

The Paris Stock Exchange Committee will publish a report by the end of 2022. The Follow This testimony will be an integral part of the report.

Response Follow This
“Shareholders should be able to use the only power they have: the power of the vote,” said Tarek Bouhouch, head of Follow This France. “We hope the committee members are now convinced as well that shareholders can compel oil majors to set climate targets while leaving the strategy entirely to the board.”

“Without an unequivocal sign by shareholders, oil majors will not take the bold and brave decisions needed to achieve the Paris Accord, for example, to stop investing in new fossil fuels sources and invest heavily in renewables to heavily cut emissions by 2030.”

“We hope the committee is brave enough to decide that voting is imperative, despite the conflict of interest, since the head of legal for TotalEnergies is a member of the High Legal Committee of Paris Stock Exchange (HCJP).”

Text of the hearing (French)