September 22, 2023

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Exxon and Chevron shareholders have flatly rejected the climate petitions

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Shareholders of ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected calls for stronger measures to mitigate climate change, rejecting more than a dozen climate-related proposals at their annual meeting. meetings.

The results supported the largest oil producers in the United States in resisting pressure from investor groups calling for the pair to follow European competitors in accepting tougher targets for reducing emissions.

Despite the efforts of Shell PLC (SHEL.L), BP PLC (BP.L) and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), protesters still stormed shareholder meetings this year, seeking a faster transition away from fossil fuels. Their demands failed.

Exxon and Chevron’s meetings were held online, avoiding similar protests.

“Not one major oil company really wants to turn around,” said Marc Van Baal, founder of the activist group Full This, which has suffered huge losses in several meetings. “They all want to stick to fossil fuels as long as possible.”

His group, which represents about 9,500 oil and gas shareholders, had asked Exxon to set medium-term goals for reducing emissions from fuels burned by customers — or Scope 3 targets.

This resolution received less than half the support at 11% of the votes cast compared to the 27% of the group’s emissions-cutting proposal last year.

CEO Darren Woods called Follow This an “anti-oil and gas group” that uses environmental and social goals to “minimize Exxon’s important role” in the industry.

“Scope 3 gives companies like ours zero credit for cutting the emissions of others through technologies like carbon capture and storage,” Woods said.

Exxon is the only company among the Big Five Western oil companies that does not have a 2030 target to reduce customers’ carbon emissions from its products.

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exon holders Reject all 12 Shareholder proposals, most of which dealt with climate-related issues. According to the early results, none received a majority of the votes cast that would indicate a victory.

Chevron’s investors also rejected proposals for a customer emissions reduction target, the creation of a board committee on decarbonization risks, and a report on the worker and community impact from facility closures and energy transitions.

Low support

Overall, the results showed a decline in support for proposals designed to boost oil and gas companies’ contributions to addressing climate change. After winning some ground earlier in the decade, the initiatives have run out of steam after concerns about supply and prices mount in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A proposal to increase Exxon’s methane measurement reporting got 36% of the vote cast, the most for any climate initiative. last year, Shareholders agreed With 51% of the vote requesting that Exxon release an audited emissions report using the assumptions of the IEA’s Net Zero trajectory by 2050.

Shareholders also declined to develop a worst-case scenario oil spill response plan for its Guyana operations. She got only 13% of the votes cast.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valli and Arathi Somasekhar in Houston); Mrinalika Roy and Surasis Bose in Bengaluru. Editing by John Boyle and Margarita Choi

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