Your votes on climate resolutions at Big Oil in May

INVESTOR AND MEDIA BRIEFING

This briefing is intended to help shareholders make an informed voting decision on climate resolutions coming to vote at the 2021 AGMs of Equinor, ConocoPhillips, BP, Phillips66, Shell and Chevron, filed by Follow This and ACCR, as well as Shell’s and Total’s own ‘advisory vote’.

Climate Resolutions

The Follow This climate resolutions support the companies to set emission reduction targets that are consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement, and invest accordingly.

Advisory Votes

The advisory resolutions, filed by Shell and Total, ask for shareholder support for the current strategies of each company.

CA100+

According to the CA100+ Net-Zero Company Benchmark, no oil major has set Paris-consistent emission reduction targets or Paris-consistent investment levels. Anne Simpson, chair of the CA100+, put it simply at our recent symposium: “No company has started to make the necessary change.” During the symposium panelists from institutional investors agreed that oil majors will only act on climate when investors practice engagement and vote for climate resolutions. “The question about voting is a simple one: it’s the point in which you move from talk to action,” Anne Simpson said.

Conclusion

Your engagement and your votes are both crucial in compelling oil majors to advance their targets and investment levels to drive the energy transition.

Therefore, shareholders should vote FOR these six climate resolutions and AGAINST the two ‘advisory votes’.

Bluntly, Shell asks for support to implement a strategy that promises ‘net zero emissions’ in the distant future, but doesn’t decrease emissions enough in this decade to be Paris-aligned.

The attached investor briefing contains these six climate resolutions plus two advisory company-resolutions, the selected companies’ current climate policies, and the CA100+ benchmark for reference during this AGM season (updates available online). Access the detailed investor briefing here.

Congratulate oil majors on promises?

Voting in favour of companies’ climate strategies to congratulate them on recent promises is counterproductive. We need much more ambitious energy transition strategies; votes for their resolutions will merely provide Shell and Total with a shareholder mandate to continue on their current course of inadequate emission reduction targets and over reliance on CCUS, rather than compel them to make real commitments to align their strategy with a 1.5° pathway.

Europe

Follow This has engaged with European oil majors since 2015. Thanks to the votes of institutional investors for the Follow This Climate Resolutions, Shell, Equinor, and BP crossed the Rubicon on Scope 3 by setting ambitions to reduce product emissions.

United States: Scope 3 or not Scope 3

Follow This has engaged with US oil majors since 2018. In 2021, we hope to bring about the same effect in the US, where all oil majors (with the exception of Occidental Petroleum) still maintain the position that Scope 3 is beyond their responsibility.

Momentum in 2020

Backing from investors that insist on Paris-consistent targets for all emissions continues to gain momentum; in 2020, an unprecedented number of shareholders voted for climate targets resolutions. We are encouraged by this increase in voting.

CA100+ benchmark turning point

The benchmark of the world’s biggest investor alliance could result in a turning point for the fight against climate change. No oil major is even close to Paris-alignment according to the in-depth, benchmark assessments; the obvious next step for CA100+ members is to vote for the climate targets resolutions in May. Please read our article about CA100+ Bigger than Big Oil in Responsible Investor.

Clear signal in 2021

In 2021, not a single oil major has a strategy that leads to emissions reductions compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement.

We trust in the power and motivation of you, the shareholders of these companies, to halt further inaction. Oil and gas companies need a clear signal to change course to protect your assets in the global economy from devastating climate change.

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