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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Having at least 30% women on corporate boards "makes a key difference to climate governance and innovation," per new analysis of thousands of companies from the research firm BloombergNEF.

Why it matters: Companies worldwide are coming under increased pressure to curb emissions, adopt cleaner tech and disclose emissions data.

The big picture: The analysis of nearly 12,000 companies shows the strongest correlation between gender diversity and governance, notably disclosures.

  • There's a "somewhat positive" link on performance, such as investments in renewable power and efficiency.
  • However, "higher emitting sectors such as oil and gas companies, show limited correlation between emission reduction and board diversity."
  • On the innovation front, firms with gender-diverse boards produce more and better patents.

By the numbers: A snapshot of 2,800 companies' emissions growth between 2016–2018 shows that companies with over 30% female boards averaged 0.6% emissions growth, compared to 3.5% for companies with no women in the boardroom.

How it works: Top-level findings on the oil sector in the broader report, which was conducted in collaboration with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, include...

  • "Leading integrated oil companies that have decarbonization strategies and are invested in digitalization activities also have higher female representation on the board."
  • "Gender diversity, however, does not directly contribute to lowering emissions and expanding digitalization."

Yes, but: The number of companies of all sorts worldwide that have gender-diverse boards is growing, although women are still very underrepresented.

  • "The number of companies with more than 30% women on the board of directors has increased eightfold in just over a decade, from 2% in 2009 to 16% today," the report finds.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Exxon is feeling the heat on climate change action

Expand chart
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

ExxonMobil, under pressure to boost financial performance and do more on climate change, says it's on the cusp of changes.

Driving the news: The oil giant said Wednesday it would soon update shareholders on plans to "build long-term, sustainable value," and new steps to commercialize tech that's "key to reducing emissions."

House members and staff will be allowed to bring visitors into Capitol again

The U.S. Capitol on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Members of the House and their staff will be able to escort certain visitors into the Capitol starting Wednesday.

Why it matters: The House is slowly starting to reopen after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. The Senate already allows official visits, with a staff escort.