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Equinor Kowtows To Investors Over Climate Issues

Equinor Bakken assets

Per shareholder prodding, Equinor will review its existing climate targets through 2030, and will come up with new ones for 2030 and beyond, and will tie executive and employee renumeration to achieving those goals.

Norway’s oil firm Equinor is the latest oil major to act on shareholder concerns about the impact that its operations have on the climate.

Equinor has also agreed to report on its estimated carbon intensity of its products and services, and even more drastically, will ensure that all capital investments line up with the goal of keeping global temperature increases to 2°C.

Equinor, formerly Statoil, began its campaign to be seen as something other than an oil company last year, putting distance between itself and oil when it announced that it would change its name in favor of a more energy neutral moniker.

Spearheading the most recent change were a group of 320 investors, Reuters said on Wednesday, led by a global group of heavy hitters managing $33 trillion in combined assets.

But shareholders didn’t get everything that they wanted. Equinor’s board is set to vote on May 15 on a shareholder resolution that would see Equinor compelled to set reduction targets for Scope 3 emissions—basically all indirect emissions. However, the board is recommending a vote against that measure, to the ire of activists.

Today’s announcement follows a string of shareholder strongarming when it comes to Big Oil and climate change. Exxon Mobil Shell, BP, and Occidental have all been targets, some successful.

Exxon Mobil, however, emerged victorious earlier this month when the SEC ruled in favor of Exxon over a shareholder request to disclose targets to reduce emissions in line with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But Big Oil isn’t finished just yet. President Trump earlier this month ordered a review of the laws that essentially allow shareholders to chime in over climate issues.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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