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Chevron Investors Back Climate Proposal in Rebuke to C-Suite (1)

May 26, 2021, 9:43 PM

Chevron Corp. shareholders voted for a proposal to reduce emissions from the company’s customers, the latest sign that oil titans are coming under increasing pressure to address environmental concerns.

According to a preliminary tally, 61% of investors backed the proposal at the company’s annual investor meeting on Wednesday, rebuffing the company’s board, which had urged shareholders to reject it. An item asking Chevron to report on how a significant reduction in fossil-fuel demand would affect its business and a request for a report on political lobbying were narrowly voted down.

The vote, which came on the same day Royal Dutch Shell Plc was ordered by a Dutch court to slash its emissions harder and faster than planned, highlights an unprecedented push to hold oil giants accountable for their contributions to climate change. Also on Wednesday, at least two nominees of an activist investment firm won seats on Exxon Mobil Corp.’s board in a major setback for Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods.

Also Read: Exxon CEO Is Dealt a Stinging Setback at Hands of New Activist

Chevron should be able to increase returns to investors at the same time as it strives to reduce carbon emissions and engages with all its stakeholders to seek solutions, CEO Mike Wirth said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. That includes so-called Scope 3 emissions, which are produced when customers of energy producers burn the fuels they sell.

“Across our society and all stakeholders, interest in these issues has never been higher and I think the vote reflects that,” he said. “We’re working on everything, the emissions of our products as they’re used by our customers, we’re offering renewable diesel, renewable natural gas and renewable base oils. We’re working on things like sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen.”

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth speaks with Bloomberg Television.
(Source: Bloomberg)

ConocoPhillips investors earlier this month rebuffed the company’s board to support a similar push for a full-scope emissions reduction target. Amsterdam-based shareholder activist group Follow This said that 58% of investors backed the proposal.

(Adds comment from CEO in fourth and fifth paragraphs.)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Sergio Chapa in Houston at schapa2@bloomberg.net;
Caroline Hyde in London at chyde3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

Christine Buurma, Carlos Caminada

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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