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Want To Stop Climate Change? Buy Big Oil Stock


Want To Stop Climate Change?

Buy Big Oil Stock

Jeroen Kraaijenbrink: Contributor: Leadership Strategy: 3 JAN 2022


In an age in which stock trading is no longer reserved to Wall-Street and a climate crisis is becoming a reality, sustainability-driven shareholder activism was bound to happen. And we see it happening, with increasing impact—especially in Big Oil, responsible for the largest share of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Thanks to the votes of institutional investors for the Follow This climate resolutions, Shell, Equinor, BP, Phillips 66, and Chevron have reluctantly set climate ambitions covering Scope 3 already.” And, as Follow This announced in their recent investor briefing, they will file no less than eight climate resolutions in 2022, at Shell, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66, Occidental Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and Marathon Petroleum.

Over the past five years, Follow This has seen a rapid growth in the support for their resolutions. In 2016, they brought in their first resolution at one oil company, Shell, which obtained support of 2.7% of Shell’s shareholders. Five years later, in 2021, this support has grown to 30%.

Also on the short-term, profit-oriented side, activist shareholders claim their role. In the case of Shell, for example, hedge fund Third Point is urging Shell to breakup and split the company in two—one part focused on maximizing shareholder value based on oil, the other on other activities, most prominently Shell’s activities in Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), marketing and renewable energy.


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