Climate proposals stumble badly at oil giant meetings
Investors in Chevron and Exxon Mobil on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected an array of shareholder proposals meant to force the oil producers to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and disclose more climate-related data.
The abysmal results underscore how efforts to make the fossil-fuel industry greener have been losing steam, reinforcing what climate shareholder activists told DealBook was existential angst about how little ground their movement was gaining.
Nearly all of the proposals failed to gain more than 20 percent support. That reflected a broad pushback on efforts to force Chevron and Exxon to decarbonize and publish emissions targets in line with the Paris climate accords. (Some of the measures failed despite support from major investors like Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund and the British asset manager Legal & General.)
Big investors have been playing down support for E.S.G., the investment movement that focuses on environmental, social and corporate governance issues, amid pressure from conservative lawmakers across the United States. (It isn’t clear how money managers like BlackRock and Vanguard, which had publicly promoted E.S.G. stances in recent years, voted on the latest proposals.)
Meanwhile, U.S. oil companies have ramped up their fossil-fuel production, citing growing demand amid the war in Ukraine and rising inflation. Chevron has even doubled down on traditional fuels by agreeing to buy PDC Energy, a shale producer, for $6.3 billion.