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Some of the largest U.S. oil companies—including ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Phillips—are expected to put to shareholder votes climate resolutions to meet targets for emissions reductions aligned with the Paris Agreement, climate activist group Follow This has told Reuters.
The management of those four companies have not blocked Follow This’s petition to put to the vote of the shareholders these emissions reduction goals at the annual shareholders meetings in the spring.
“We were positively surprised,” Follow This founder Mark van Baal told Reuters. “This shows that most oil majors accept the winds of change at the SEC,” he added.
Follow This, which unites responsible shareholders to push Big Oil to go green, says that “The oil industry can make or break the Paris climate agreement. But we have the power to change oil companies from within – as shareholders.”
“Business as usual is over,” the group says.
American oil firms were late to the “net-zero emissions” pledging party, but most have followed European oil majors in setting out ambitions to reduce their operational emissions to net-zero by 2050.
ConocoPhillips, for example, has endorsed the World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative and set a target to reduce methane emissions intensity in 2020. The oil and gas company set an ambition to reduce operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050.
Chevron adopted in October 2021 a 2050 net-zero aspiration for upstream Scope 1 and 2 emissions, and ExxonMobil announced this January its ambition to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for operated assets by 2050.
Follow This criticized Chevron’s target, saying it was “disappointing,” after 61 percent of shareholders had voted in 2021 for the Follow This climate resolution that Chevron set a Scope 3 target.
To Exxon’s ambitions about reducing emissions, Follow This responded in January that “Net zero for operations by 2050 is mere tokenism and reflects no serious attempt to address investors’ concerns about the climate crisis.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com