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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Investment behemoth BlackRock is using its shares to push U.S. oil majors harder on climate, efforts that come months after BlackRock joined the advocacy group Climate Action 100+ and announced a new sustainability strategy.

Driving the news: BlackRock, citing concerns about Exxon's climate posture, yesterday voted against re-election of two members of Exxon's board and in favor of a resolution to create an independent board chair.

  • However, the members were re-elected and the push for an independent chair failed.

Why it matters: The votes nonetheless represent an escalation of BlackRock's push for Exxon to do more at a time when European-based majors are more active than their U.S. peers.

One level deeper: Yesterday BlackRock also used its shares to help pass a resolution, against the recommendation of Chevron's management, that prods the company to reveal more about its climate-related lobbying.

  • BlackRock cited the need for "greater transparency" into Chevron's approach, noting that Chevron says it backs the Paris climate deal.
  • More transparency "will help articulate consistency between private and public messaging in the context of managing climate risk and the transition to a lower-carbon economy," BlackRock said.

What they're saying: The shareholder advocacy group Majority Action, in a statement on the Exxon and Chevron votes, said BlackRock's vote at Chevron's meeting "was decisive in swinging the result to majority support."

But, but, but: "While these votes are important steps towards BlackRock fulfilling its new climate commitments, they do not constitute anywhere near the scale of overhaul BlackRock must undertake to systematically address climate risk across its outsized holdings," the group said.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Aug 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Coronavirus hastens Big Oil's Atlantic divide on climate change

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pandemic is accelerating a divide between European and American oil companies over climate change and clean energy.

Why it matters: Bottom lines and investor returns will be vastly different across the corporate spectrum depending on how aggressively the world tackles climate change in the coming decades.

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

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