Shareholders Must Demand Oil & Gas Companies Implement Paris Compliant Plans

After seven years of resolutions on climate change, oil & gas companies have failed fundamentally to rein in their greenhouse gas emissions, remaining renegade on meeting global climate goals.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609

Oakland, CA—September 7, 2018—Today’s release of “2020: A Clear Vision for Paris Compliant Shareholder Engagement” lays out a clear plan for shareholders to move oil & gas companies to transition to 2 degree, Paris compliant business models.

As You Sow, a leading shareholder advocacy organization, which filed the first stranded asset resolution in 2013 and has since engaged the oil & gas industry on critical climate issues, analyzed 160 climate-focused shareholder resolutions filed with 24 oil & gas companies from 2012-2018.

The report concludes that, while progress has been made on some climate related issues, the most fundamental hurdle has not been overcome. The business model for U.S. oil & gas companies contributes directly and substantially to climate change, in direct contrast to shareholders’ goal of reining in climate change pollution.

At the same time, risk for shareholders of these companies grows as the energy market moves to decarbonize. The window for business as usual, fossil fuel-based energy, is rapidly closing as greenhouse gas regulations and competition from low-cost, low-carbon technologies increase. Recent studies show that, as oil & gas companies’ business fundamentals have weakened, and company values fallen, they have trailed the benchmark over the past decade, causing pension funds, university endowments, and other institutional investors’ portfolios to underperform.

“The impacts of shareholder advocacy on climate have not resulted in material change in the oil & gas industry,” Andrew Behar, co-author of the report and As You Sow CEO, said. “Other sectors have responded to their shareholders with strong climate-related action. But oil & gas, even with majority votes, have not stepped up to address the growing risks to their companies, the broader economy, and our planet.”

Today’s report concludes that engagement activity has made progress in many areas, including awareness of climate risk, adding climate-competent board members, and reduced operational emissions. However, no oil & gas company has put forth a Paris compliant business plan with transparent methods of assessment and disclosure, including commitments to end exploration and development activities that are incompatible with attaining 2°C.

“We are at a crossroads. It’s time to look at our progress objectively and chart a new course,” Danielle Fugere, As You Sow president, stated.

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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.

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