Shareholders’ rebellion over non-committal “climate ambitions”

In 2020, the AGM season for Big Oil was characterized by a shareholders’ rebellion over non-committal “climate ambitions”

This year’s AGMs of Equinor, Shell, and Total showed the exact same pattern: all three companies announced a “new climate ambition”, rejected the Follow This climate resolution as “unnecessary”, then suffered a substantial shareholder rebellion by a growing minority of responsible investors.

Evidently, for more and more investors, these climate ambitions for 2050 look neither credible nor serious. Three times responsible investors have sent a clear signal to an oil major. They expect action from management – not just empty words about 2050.

We thank these investors for their vision and tenacity. We don’t have time for another round of non-committal ambitions or vague discussions about 2050. We need oil majors to shift investments to decrease emissions within this decade.

Only the biggest industry incumbents have the technical know-how, financial muscle, and market-making opportunities to rapidly scale an energy transition to renewables.

Only shareholders can compel boards to set Paris-aligned targets, and support them to invest accordingly.