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U.S. Supermajors Face Investor Votes On Emission Cuts

U.S. Supermajors Face Investor Votes On Emission Cuts

Investors in Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. will vote on shareholder proposals to reduce pollution as the oil industry faces increasing pressure to improve its environmental record.

Exxon shareholders will evaluate a proposal from the Dutch environmental group Follow This, which calls for the oil giant to reduce emissions and natural gas sales in compliance with the Paris Agreement. A separate proposal from Arjuna Capital on low-carbon business planning will also be on the ballot for the May 26 meeting.

According to a proxy statement released Thursday, Exxon’s board of directors is encouraging investors to reject all seven shareholder proposals.

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In the meanwhile, according to a filing, Chevron shareholders will vote on whether the corporation should establish greenhouse-gas reduction targets, analyze the implications of achieving net zero by 2050, and perform a racial-equity audit.

Chevron’s board of directors is recommending shareholders vote no on the proposals on May 25.

Climate Threats

For years, oil and natural gas explorers have been chastised for not doing more to reduce climate-damaging emissions, and activist investors have recently made big gains.

At the same time, as record energy costs exacerbate severe inflation, lawmakers and consumer advocates have been critical of the business. During a hearing on gasoline prices and oil supplies in Washington on Wednesday, the CEOs of Exxon and Chevron were among a group of oil executives who were chastised by Democratic lawmakers.

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The new shareholder recommendations come less than a year after activist investor Engine No. 1 organized the takeover of a segment of Exxon’s board of directors.

Exxon made significant modifications to its climate strategy in the aftermath of the boardroom shakeup, including adopting an “ambition” to eliminate emissions from its own operations by 2050 (though not from its customers) and increasing expenditure on lower-emission assets.

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Stock Rallies

The stock has risen 50% in the last year, thanks to rising petroleum prices. At 3:14 p.m. in New York, shares were up 1.5 percent to $84.90.

According to the document, Chevron’s shareholder demands include a directive to report on doing business with “conflict-complicit” countries, in addition to environmental issues.

Because the existing one ends next year, the corporation is also seeking approval for a new long-term executive compensation incentive plan.

Chevron climbed 1.1 percent to $166.67, bringing its year-to-date gain to 60 percent.

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