World’s largest sovereign wealth fund says climate activists against ExxonMobil and Chevron to force changes in emissions policies after ExxonMobil and Chevron come under pressure to back European oil and gas companies will stand on their side.
Norway’s $1.4 trillion oil fund will submit a shareholder proposal to the U.S. oil and gas majors at the annual meetings of Exxon and Chevron next Wednesday to introduce greenhouse gas emission reduction targets from the use of their products. I plan to support it.
This means European giants such as BP, Shell and Total Energy, the French group whose annual meeting is taking place, are committed to ensuring the world stays below 2°C to meet the Paris Agreement. This contrasts with the Fund’s refusal to support similar proposals aimed at Friday.
Karine Smith-Ihenacho, the fund’s chief corporate governance officer, told the Financial Times that European and US oil majors’ views on so-called Scope 3 emissions targets, which occur when products are burned or consumed, have changed. said there was a difference.
“Exxon doesn’t really believe in the value of setting a scope 3 target. BP and Shell both have good scope 3 targets and good transition plans,” she said.
Norwegian oil funds are among the most influential investors, holding an average of 1.5% of all companies worldwide.
But the company’s efforts to take the lead in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing have clashed with some of the world’s biggest companies, and have also drawn criticism and cries of hypocrisy from environmental pressure groups.
Mark van Barr, founder of Follow This, a prominent activist group that supports oil majors’ shareholder proposals, welcomed the oil fund’s support for Exxon and Chevron, but equally for BP, Shell and Total. He said he was “surprised” at the lack of support for .
“The Fund has a huge responsibility. This vote jeopardizes their credibility as stewards of the global economy. We don’t need to cut back,” he said. We expect them to correct this oversight next year,” he added.
Ihenacho said the issue was not “black or white”, with one group being “desperate” and the other “brilliant”. But he stressed that the European oil majors are ahead of the curve on this issue.
Van Barr said BP and Shell are making “empty promises” to 2050 as European companies take “small steps” against climate change. “In a field that lags behind, it’s very easy to be a leader,” he added.
The Norwegian fund voted against some of its biggest shareholders this year, including Apple and LVMH over executive pay and JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs over the combined chief executive and chairmanship.
It also began submitting its own shareholder resolutions on climate change for US companies.
But the fund, which is funded by Norwegian oil revenues, faces hypocritical accusations of telling energy companies what to do if the country makes record amounts from oil and gas. .
Ihenacho countered that climate risk is a financial risk for the fund. “Our job at the Foundation is to create value for future generations in a responsible way.
“We have absolutely no view on Norwegian policy. From a financial point of view, it makes sense to have companies in the fund that can survive in a net-zero society, considering how to create long-term value. increase.”
Both Exxon and Chevron have urged shareholders to decline to support Follow Dis’s proposal, saying oil and gas companies will play a key role in the energy transition. “We believe that setting Scope 3 targets can have significant and unintended consequences for society,” Exxon added.
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