The world’s largest stock market investor wants ExxonMobil and Chevron to do more to tackle the climate crisis.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which has $1.4 trillion in total assets, announced on Friday that it would support calls by US oil companies to set tougher emissions-cutting targets.
She said she would support the proposals proposed by the climate activist group Follow This at the companies’ annual shareholder meetings next Wednesday. ExxonMobil and Chevron (CVX) She urged shareholders to turn it down.
Follow this called on the companies, along with European oil majors BP (BP), Shell (RDSA) and TotalEnergies (TOT), to set more ambitious “Scope 3” emissions reduction targets by the end of the decade. These emissions include the greenhouse gases released when customers use their products, such as gasoline, jet fuel and natural gas.
The group says revised targets should bring companies better into line with the Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Mark van Pal, founder of Follow This, told CNN that the Norwegian fund had a “huge responsibility,” adding that it was surprising it hadn’t taken similar action against European energy companies at shareholder meetings.
“Basically, they are saying to Shell, BP and Total: You don’t have to reduce your emissions in this decade. We expect them to right that wrong next year.
The fund did not vote with campaigners against BP and Shell at its most recent annual shareholder meetings, which took place last month and last week respectively.
Karen Smith-Inacho, the fund’s chief corporate governance officer, told the Financial Times on Friday that “both BP and Shell have good 3-target scope, and they have good transition plans.”
The fund also plans to vote with TotalEnergies against the campaigners’ “Scope 3” proposals at the French company’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday, she said on her website.
French riot police stopped several hundred climate protesters who tried to stop TotalEnergies shareholders from attending the meeting in Paris, Reuters reports.
ExxonMobil, which did not specify Scope 3 targets, said in a letter to shareholders last month that such targets would encourage oil and gas companies to sell their assets, reducing the supply of products “needed by society.”
“Make no mistake, we are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the company said.
Chevron aims to reduce carbon emissions by 5% over the next five years from a 2016 baseline, a target that covers “Scope 3” emissions, but urged shareholders to reject activist proposals.
The company said in a letter to shareholders last month that the proposal “requires the reduction of Chevron’s business.”
ExxonMobil and Chevron did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment about voting intentions for Norway’s Wealth Fund, which is funded by the country’s vast oil and gas revenues. It owns shares in more than 9,200 companies in 63 countries, with total equity holdings of $790 billion.
The company owns 0.86% of shares in Chevron and a 1.13% stake in ExxonMobil, according to the fund’s most recent data.
In its statement on Friday, the fund also said it called on Chevron CEO Mike Wirth and ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods to step down from chairing the companies’ boards because it believes the top roles should be played by two different people.
“The board of directors must exercise objective judgment over corporate affairs and be able to make decisions independently of management,” the fund said on its website.
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