Shareholder Resolutions Filed with Chevron Seek Accountability on Climate Change
Risk of Global Economic Harm and Portfolio Impacts from a Warming Climate Compels Shareholders
Oakland, CA and Boston, MA—Dec. 18, 2018—Shareholders As You Sow and Arjuna Capital have filed ground-breaking shareholder resolutions with Chevron Corporation asking it to align its operations with the Paris agreement and adopt greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to ensure progress in reducing the full range of its emissions. Chevron is the 12th largest industrial contributor to cumulative global greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change impacts present systemic portfolio risks to investors. A warming climate causes a host of economic harms from supply chain dislocations, to reduced resource availability, lost production, commodity price volatility, infrastructure damage, crop loss, energy disruptions, political instability, and reduced worker efficiency, among others. Global losses from climate change are estimated to be more than $30 trillion. In the U.S., annual losses in some sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by 2100.
Recent reports about the extent and impact of climate change have focused shareholders on the need for immediate action from oil and gas companies like Chevron. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report finding that, collectively, the world has less than 10 years to initiate the substantial changes necessary to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. If we do not act quickly enough, costs to the global economy will mount precipitously. As noted in As You Sow’s report, “2020: A Clear Vision for Paris Compliant Shareholder Engagement,” oil and gas companies like Chevron must demonstrate their plans to transition.
“Chevron must immediately plan a cleaner path for providing energy to the world,” said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow. “We no longer have the luxury of time. Chevron can start with reducing its investments in the most carbon extreme fossil fuels and expand from there. Whether it invests in cleaner energy sources or simply reduces its investments in new reserves, Chevron must bring its business plan into line with Paris goals.”
Shareholders also asked Chevron to adopt targets equivalent to those that New York State and the Church of England have filed at Exxon.
“This proposal sets greenhouse gas emission reduction targets across the company’s full range of emissions, from discovery of oil fields through burning of its products. Investors seek accountability on a global scale to be sure that Chevron is fully implementing whatever Paris-Compliant business plan it develops,” said Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital. “Targets provide a means for driving and measuring success.”
Other companies have announced policies to reduce their climate footprint in support of Paris goals. Shell announced Scope 3 greenhouse gas intensity reduction goals. Total has invested substantially in solar energy and is reducing the carbon intensity of its energy products. Equinorrebranded itself from “StatOil” and is diversifying into wind and solar energy development.Orsted, previously a Danish oil and gas company, sold its oil and gas portfolio.
“The choices available to shareholders and oil and gas companies have become stark,” said Fugere. “Companies and shareholders must act now. Failure to do so will be increasingly costly for both.”
Lamb added, “Oil majors are facing an existential crisis, and those that adapt are best positioned to survive and thrive in a low carbon energy economy.”
To learn more about As You Sow’s work on climate change, click here.
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.
Arjuna Capital works with high net-worth individuals, families and foundations to create a suite of sustainable investments that makes sense to and for the client.
Stefanie Spear, [email protected], 216-387-1609
Patrick Mitchell for Arjuna Capital, [email protected], 703-276-3266