Sustainability Climate Change

Shareholder revolts over climate crisis rock oil giants ExxonMobil and Chevron

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Story at a glance

  • Both ExxonMobil and Chevron had shareholder meetings Wednesday.
  • The oil giants experienced coups as activist shareholders and some high-stake shareholders came together to institute transitions toward renewable energy and combating climate change.
  • Two Exxon board members were replaced with activist candidates, and Chevron passed a proposal to cut its carbon emissions.

Shareholders for ExxonMobil and Chevron staged coups for the oil giants’ failures to lay out viable plans to transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

Climate activists with hedge fund Engine No. 1 replaced two Exxon board members with candidates it believes will take better action in steering the company toward green energy solutions. Formed last year to combat Exxon’s effects on climate change, Engine No. 1 only has a small stake of $50 million within the company.


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However, Exxon’s second-largest shareholder, BlackRock, supported Engine No. 1 in its rebellion to oust the board members. Owning a 6.7 percent stake in Exxon, BlackRock was reportedly fed up with the company’s lack of initiative toward combating climate change. 

Meanwhile, Chevron’s shareholders voted 61 percent in favor of a proposal from the Dutch environmental group Follow This that will cut the company’s carbon emissions.


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The founder of Follow This, Mark van Baal, told The Guardian that Wednesday’s shareholder coups represent a “paradigm shift” and “victory in the fight against climate change.”

“Institutional investors understand that no investment is safe in a global economy wracked by devastating climate change,” Van Baal said.


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