Chevron shareholders to vote on climate change, emissions targets

Shareholders of U.S. oil supermajor Chevron are set to vote on proposals aiming to require the oil company to reduce the environmental impact of its products and report on climate business risks.

Chevron said in early March that it exceeded its 2023 upstream carbon intensity reduction targets three years ahead of schedule and announced lower 2028 targets and zero routine flaring by 2030.

At the time, the company noted that its new targets align with the second stock-take period under the Paris Agreement and includes all its production on an equity basis.

The U.S. oil major has not set long-term net-zero goals unlike most of its European peers – Shell, BP, Equinor, Total, and Eni – who have already pledged to become net-zero companies by 2050 or sooner. Chevron, like ExxonMobil – which also did not make a net-zero pledge, unveiled plans to eliminate routine flaring by 2030.

Chevron has set emissions targets for this decade and laid out plans to keep project spending low but increase oil and gas output as well as announcing expectations to invest about $3 billion in the coming years to further its energy transition efforts.

According to an article published by Reuters which quoted a company proxy filing, shareholder proposals include reducing so-called Scope 3 emissions that come from the use of its fuels and a request that the company report the impact of net-zero 2050 scenarios on its finances and business assumptions.

The media outlet stated that the company recommended that its stockholders vote against the shareholder proposals, including one for an independent board chair after the next chief executive transition.

Other proposals ask for more lobbying disclosures and to shift to being a “public benefit corporation“, a legal structure in which directors must balance the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Worth reminding, shareholders voted to approve a proposal in May 2020 demanding that the company issue a report on its climate change-related lobbying activities, a major win for activists against big oil.

Reuters added that the filing included details on executive compensation, including $29 million for Chevron CEO Michael Wirth in 2020, down from $33.1 million in 2019.

The company had a $5.54 billion full-year loss for 2020, its first since 2016, compared with earnings of $2.92 billion in 2019.

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