Posts in Energy
Is it possible for an oil company to help fight climate change?

A year ago, Royal Dutch Shell, now the largest oil company in the world, acquired NewMotion, a company with thousands of electric car charging points throughout Europe. A month later, Shell started installing fast chargers at some of its largest gas stations. In late October, the company started installing ultrafast chargers that can fully charge the newest electric cars in 10 minutes.

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"GE Agrees to Reconsider Investment in Kenya's Coal Plant "

According to The Star newspaper in Kenya, GE is reconsidering its investment in the Lamu coal plant, following a letter sent to the company by a group of 56 institutional and individual investors, as well as advocacy groups, As You Sow and Proxy Impact, calling on the company to reconsider its recent decision to acquire a 20 percent stake in the plant. Lamu is one of Kenya’s top tourist destinations and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Chevron faces climate test at meeting today

What we’re hearing: The methane resolution is likely to pass the 50% mark because similar votes have passed at other companies. Getting this support likely indicates company adoption of whatever the non-binding proposal calls for.

The other vote is unlikely to pass, according to Danielle Fugere, president of nonprofit As You Sow, which filed the resolution on behalf of some Chevron investors. This is in part because it’s going a step further and asking for strategy change.

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3 Dozen Shareholder Climate Resolutions Target Oil, Gas and Power Companies

Companies that might be tempted to see the current administration's behavior as an excuse to delay acting on climate risks should be cautious—administrations change, and the oil and gas industry in particular is built on investments that require weighting risks decades into the future, said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, a non-profit shareholder advocacy organization. 

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The SEC Just Made The Case For Divesting From Fossil Fuel Companies Much Stronger

The existence of the reports represents the start of slow change at these companies, said Danielle Fugere, president of the nonprofit As You Sow, which tracks shareholder proxy fights. Even if the reports are tailored to bolster companies’ profit outlook, she said they provide information to investors that can ultimately strengthen the case for divestment.

“Even when a company doesn’t necessarily give you the response you want, their response gives you information, and that’s the real goal,” she told HuffPost. “Obviously the oil and gas companies haven’t changed what they do, but from an investor perspective, even getting them to think about how they can transition is good.”

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SEC Gives Exxon a Pass on Shareholder Climate Proposal, But Not Chevron

According to Fugere, Exxon is unlikely to continue to escape shareholder pressure.

“I’m sure shareholders will continue to ask the company to address this issue of how it’s preparing for a low-carbon economy,” she said. “Right now, Exxon’s [Energy and Carbon Summary] report argues there will still be sufficient demand, and the company will continue to provide oil so long as there’s sufficient demand.”

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World's greenest companies outperform fossil fuel benchmark by two to one

Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow and report co-author, claimed the results show a "Great Transition" is underway towards a low carbon economy.

"Market forces continue to show that the new energy economy is not only a growth sector, but continues to outperform fossil fuel based energy," he said. "Regardless of politics, investors appear to be following the money."

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Shareholder Resolutions Underscore Need For Better Methane Disclosure

Just last week, As You Sow filed a resolution against Chevron urging it to improve methane reporting. Chevron has lagged behind their peers on disclosure and transparency and earned a reputation as one of the more aggressive opponents of commonsense climate rules. EDF is hoping the forthcoming change of leadership will result in the company taking a different tact when it comes to climate.

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Exxon Agrees to Disclose Climate Risks Under Pressure from Investors

It would have been difficult for Exxon to ignore the shareholder vote, said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. "The inevitability of a decarbonizing economy makes it mission critical that Exxon address the risk to its business-as-usual model," she said. "We hope that Exxon's announcement signals a fundamental change in the company's direction on climate change."

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Ahead of Exxon's annual meeting, shareholders and investors push for climate action

Also, Danielle Fugure, president of California nonprofit As You Sow, said last month it withdrew a shareholder resolution calling for a climate risk report from Anadarko Petroleum Corp. In return, she said, the Texas company agreed to continue to work with her group and others to develop methods for reporting on climate risks that would be practical for the company but still convey to investors the full extent of the risks it could face.

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Exxon, Chevron Face Judgment Day at Upcoming Shareholder Meeting

Meanwhile, carbon asset risk is still on the agenda for Chevron's shareholders this month: the proposal on transition to a low-carbon economy filed by As You Sow will go forward to a vote. As UCS closely monitors Chevron's and ExxonMobil's communications and engagement with concerned shareholders over its climate-related positions and actions, our experts and supporters will be stepping up the pressure on both companies in the lead-up to their annual meetings at the end of May.

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US companies defy investors with switch to online annual meetings

The decision by Duke Energy, the largest utility in the US, to switch to a virtual meeting this year, was criticised by As You Sow, a shareholder group that has put a resolution on the agenda demanding information on pollution from its coal-fired power plants.

“They do not want to face the folks they have harmed,” said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. “Our goal is to make the board understand how important these issues are but, if you are so many voices on a webinar, you lose the impact of the message. It feels like they are running away from their shareholders.”

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