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Exxon, Anadarko, and their peers, along with big players in other industries, will face as many as 200 resolutions regarding climate change at their 2017 annual shareholder meetings.
This is according to filings of resolutions that are tracked by Ceres, a non-profit organization of investors, environmental advocacy groups, and businesses. The number of climate-related resolutions for 2017 is a record-high: this year there were 174 of them, 167 in 2015, and 148 in 2014. Most of these have had limited success.
According to Fund Votes, a research firm quoted by Reuters, since 2014, the rate of success of these resolutions among S&P 500 companies has been about 22 percent. Yet what is perhaps more important is the fact that the number of resolutions is rising despite the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
President-Elect Trump repeatedly dismissed climate change as a hoax and vowed to revive the U.S. energy industry. But after the election, he told the New York Times that he’d have “an open mind about climate change.”
The green drive is maintaining its momentum, it seems. On Tuesday, Ceres reported that a group of large investors from North America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia had released an updated edition of a guide concerning investor expectations from oil and gas companies about climate change.
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The document details what these investors see as challenges for the energy industry in the context of the Paris agreement, and what moves they expect the companies to make in addressing environmental challenges.
One of the companies in for a climate-related resolution is Anadarko Petroleum. Shareholders in the company want it to detail how it will deal with so-called stranded assets, or higher-cost assets that have become uneconomical to develop at lower oil and gas prices.
Exxon, for its part, after years of climate change denial, may have to welcome an environmental activity to its board, following a resolution to that effect that was passed this year.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.