As You Sow Challenges Chevron to Take Immediate Action on Methane Emissions
Oakland, CA – In a new shareholder resolution, As You Sow and Dominican Sisters of Hope, Congregation of St. Joseph, Adrian Dominican Sisters, and Dignity Health are calling upon Chevron to report to shareholders on how it is detecting and mitigating methane emissions, a leading cause of climate change. Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has an intense, short-term climate forcing impact, at least 84 times that of carbon over 20 years. San Ramon-based Chevron is ranked near the top (17th out of the 100 highest) methane emitters from onshore production based on a 2016 study. Yet, Chevron ranks near the bottom of major oil & gas companies in its disclosures on how and whether it is managing and reducing its methane emissions.
In a 2017 special methane edition of “Disclosing the Facts,” Chevron managed to score only 2 out of 13 points on its methane-related disclosures. In contrast, other large oil & gas companies have made significant gains in their methane management practices and disclosures. Peer company ExxonMobil scored 9 out of 13 points and nine other companies scored 10 or more points on their methane management and disclosure practices.
While the oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., methane emissions from the oil and gas value chain are among the cheapest to abate of all anthropogenic climate emissions, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2017. “Reducing methane emissions is achievable for the oil and gas industry,” said Danielle Fugere, President and Chief Counsel at As You Sow, “but the oil and gas industry must move quickly; reducing substantial methane emissions now can give the world more time to successfully reign in other, more difficult emissions sources.”
In November, Exxon, Shell, BP, and several other large oil and gas companies agreed, in conjunction with NGOs, international institutions, and academics, to a series of Guiding Principles for mitigating methane emissions, to be enacted through an action plan. Chevron signed onto a voluntarily partnership led by the American Petroleum Institute to reduce methane emissions, but this partnership does not demand specific actions of its partners. “We hope that Chevron will take this commitment seriously and immediately improve its methane
emissions and monitoring disclosures,” said Mary Minette, Director of Shareholder Advocacy for Mercy Investment Services, working on behalf of co-filers Congregation of St. Joseph, Adrian Dominican Sisters, and Dignity Health. “Investors and the public are intently focused on methane emissions -- and Chevron’s social license to operate is on the line,” said Fugere, “Chevron cannot afford to fall behind its competitors who are tackling their methane leaks with state of the art detection technology and equipment.”
Oil and gas companies are facing increasing pressure from shareholders to improve methane disclosures. ExxonMobil, Occidental, WPX, Gulfport Energy, and Kinder Morgan have all received strong shareholder votes on methane emissions. Major funds have also become significantly more supportive of shareholder resolutions that address climate change, with public statements supporting corporate action on climate change from Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard.
As You Sow’s shareholder resolution is scheduled to come to a vote on May 25, 2018.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. See our resolutions here.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph is a religious community of Catholic women and non-vowed associates who live and minister in the U.S. and around the world, with a mission to bring all into unity with God, with one another, and with all creation.
The Dominican Sisters of Adrian, a Congregation of vowed women religious and Associates, minister in 26 states; the District of Columbia; and in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Norway, and the Philippines. The Congregation’s Vision is to “seek truth, make peace, reverence life.”
Dignity Health is made up of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff who deliver excellent care do diverse communities in 21 states. Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.