Record support for Follow This climate resolution at TotalEnergies thanks to coalition of 17 investors

Investors seize opportunity to urge TotalEnergies to drive down emissionsPRESS RELEASEA growing shareholder rebellion of 30% (up from 17% in 2020) voted in favour of the Follow This climate resolution, TotalEnergies announced during its shareholders’ meeting today.The vote equals the highest for the Follow This climate resolution at a European super major yet. In 2021, the climate resolution received 30% support at Shell. “Financial institutions have stepped up their efforts to fight the climate crisis,” responds Tarek Bouhouch of activist shareholder group Follow This, “voting is crucial in compelling Big Oil to drive down emissions. Big Oil can make or break the Paris Climate Agreement and must respond to shareholders.” “We thank the 17 co-filers of the climate resolution and the investors who followed their leadership. 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 TotalEnergies to postpone emission reductions.” – Scientists say the world must almost halve emissions by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C. TotalEnergies had no targets that lead to large-scale emissions reductions this decade, the request of the climate resolution. “Investors that voted in favour of Resolution A recognize this vote as the most effective tool to urge TotalEnergies 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.” Investor support contributes to rise in votesThe seventeen investors * who filed the climate resolution alongside Follow This are largely to thank for the surge in votes, according to Bouhouch. “We thank them for their leadership in using shareholder democracy,” he adds.The seventeen co-filing investors, of which some are ISS clients, also likely contributed to the influential proxy advisor ISS recommending investors to support the Follow This climate resolution. Decouple short-term profits from long-term riskIn his speech, Follow This France lead Tarek Bouhouch, addressed the shareholders instead of the board: “Fellow shareholders, this company will only change if you vote for change,” he said.“As long as investors enable Big Oil to cause climate breakdown with their votes against resolutions that request Paris-alignment, oil majors will hang on to their fossil business model as long as possible.” “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, the job market, policy interventions, litigation, liability for the costs of climate change, disruptive innovation, and stranded assets.” “The only decision you have to take is to decouple short-term profits from long-term risk.” TotalEnergies and the IEADue to the lack of Paris-aligned targets, TotalEnergies’ investments are still heavily tied to fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), “[recent] windfall gains provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity […] for major oil and gas companies to do more to diversify their spending.” “Many investors recognize that Big Oil’s current cash position presents a historic opportunity for these companies to lead the transition.” Say on ClimateTotalEnergies’ inhouse climate resolution (aka ‘Say on Climate’) which requests shareholders to support progress against TotalEnergies’ current strategy, received 89% of shareholder votes.“TotalEnergies’ in-house climate resolution remains confusing. Nobody knows whether voting against this resolution means supporting more climate action, less climate action, or opposing all climate action.”“The only resolution allowing shareholders to explicitly request alignment with Paris is the shareholder climate resolution A.” AGMs of ExxonMobil and Chevron to followBecause no oil major has set Paris-aligned emissions reduction targets for 2030, investors will apply the same pressure at ExxonMobil and Chevron coming Wednesday May 31st. “Investors are increasingly using their voting power to tackle the climate crisis. We thank these investors for their determination to achieve the Paris goal. We hope that their peers will follow their leadership at the AGMs of Exxon and Chevron next week.” “We hope that the investors that voted against, will view Exxon’s and Chevron’s AGMs as retakes to correct this oversight.” The resolutions request 2030 emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. * The seventeen institutional investors from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US have € 1.1 trillion assets under management. The consortium consists of seventeen institutional investors including Achmea IM, a.s.r. AM, Degroof Petercam AM, Edmond de Rothschild AM, La Banque Postale AM & Tocqueville Finance, La Financière de l’Echiquier, Mandarine Gestion, Man Group, Messieurs Hottinguer & Cie Gestion Privée, MN, Ofi Invest AM, PGGM Investments, Sycomore AM, Meeschaert AM and Sanso IS.