Updated May 30, 2018 - Energy & Environment

Chevron faces two climate-related shareholder votes

Chevron faces two votes on non-binding but symbolically important shareholder-pushed resolutions on climate change at the company’s annual meeting today.

Data: Ceres; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios
Data: Ceres; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why they matter: The votes are the latest in a string of climate-related resolutions being pushed at publicly traded energy companies over the past couple of years, which occur for most firms during their springtime annual meetings in a process called “shareholder democracy.”

The details:

  1. One resolution asks the company to detail how it can do more to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s also the primary component of natural gas.
  2. The second resolution goes a step further by asking Chevron to issue a report describing how it "could adapt its business model to align with a decarbonizing economy by altering its energy mix to substantially reduce dependence on fossil fuels." Most other resolutions ask companies to disclose the risks carbon regulations pose but not change their business models.

For the record: Chevron opposes both resolutions.

  • On the methane vote, the company says such a report is unnecessary because it’s already taking relevant steps.
  • On the second vote, spokesman Sean Comey said the company disagrees with the premise that a future with more energy choices “requires all energy producers to curtail production of fossil fuel resources and/or to diversify their portfolios proportionately.”

What we’re hearing: The methane resolution is likely to pass the 50% mark because similar votes have passed at other companies. Getting this support likely indicates company adoption of whatever the non-binding proposal calls for. The other vote is unlikely to pass, according to Danielle Fugere, president of nonprofit As You Sow, which filed the resolution on behalf of some Chevron investors. This is in part because it’s going a step further and asking for strategy change.

“We just need to know they are recognizing they can’t continue sell as much oil."
— Danielle Fugere, president of nonprofit As You Sow
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