Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, will vote in favor of climate resolutions at Exxon’s and Chevron’s annual general meetings next week asking the U.S. oil supermajors to introduce Scope 3 emission targets to reduce the carbon footprint of the products they sell.
Government Pension Fund Global, as Norway’s fund is officially known, will side with environmentalists on the resolutions filed for vote at Exxon and Chevron, Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer, told the Financial Times.
The fund, which is commonly referred to as ‘Norway’s oil fund’ because it was created with Norway’s oil and gas revenues, is a shareholder in many large companies in the world and has the power to influence other investors with its investment decisions.
Still, the fund has voted against climate resolutions at the European oil majors BP and Shell in recent days, saying that it is okay with the energy transition plans of Europe’s majors. But it will back climate resolutions at the U.S. majors.
“Exxon don’t really believe in the value of setting Scope 3 targets. We think the company should do so. Chevron, we don’t think they are ambitious enough in their transition plans,” Ihenacho told FT.
Referring to the European firms, she added “Both BP and Shell have good Scope 3 targets, they have good transition plans.”
Chevron and Exxon’s boards recommend that shareholders vote against the climate resolution in the proxy statements ahead of the annual meetings on May 31.
“In our view, this proposal reflects the proponent’s underlying objective to reduce the supply of oil and natural gas at a time in the energy transition when there is no viable alternative at scale. It is overly prescriptive and incorrectly applies a metric that is intended to measure society’s progress in reducing emissions to an individual company,” Exxon said.
Chevron, for its part, said, “The journey to a lower carbon future will still require oil and gas as part of the energy mix in nearly all scenarios, particularly in sectors with no effective substitutes, such as air travel, heavy duty transportation, and industrial activities, all of which are contributors to Scope 3 emissions. Chevron believes the world’s continued demand for oil and gas should be supplied by the most responsible producers.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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