Shell said Wednesday it would accelerate its clean energy and climate efforts following a major Dutch court ruling last month that ordered faster greenhouse gas emissions cuts.
Why it matters: CEO Ben van Beurden's announcement signals how the landmark court ruling could tangibly affect one of the world's most powerful oil giants, even though Shell plans to appeal the decision.
An International Energy Agency report puts some context around how much the world's largest oil companies are investing in clean energy.
The big picture: The chart above shows the combined investments of a collection of roughly 20 giants, including Shell, Exxon and BP, but also state-controlled companies like Saudi Aramco and China National Petroleum Corp.
In a further blow to Exxon management, updated shareholder vote tallies showed that an activist investment firm scored a third board seat at the company's annual shareholder meeting on May 26, Exxon announced Wednesday.
Why it matters: The hedge fund Engine No. 1, which owns less than 1% of Exxon's stock, succeeded in its bid to install board members who will push Exxon to more aggressively consider climate change in its business planning.
The Interior Department suspended nearly a dozen oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, the agency announced.
Why it matters: The move, which will require a new environmental analysis, will undo former President Trump's most significant environmental actions in his final days in office.
What we're watching: Via Bloomberg, the group that won a major Netherlands court ruling against Royal Dutch Shell is now laying the groundwork for cases against more fossil fuel companies.
A rat-tat-tat burst of events Wednesday could mark a turning point in pressure against Big Oil to act more aggressively on global warming.
Catch up fast: In a span of hours, ExxonMobil shareholders voted to add at least two new board members nominated by activist investors (a third nominee's vote is outstanding).
The Biden administration on Wednesday defended in the U.S. District Court for Alaska a massive ConocoPhillips oil and gas project approved during the Trump-era, per the New York Times.
Why it matters: President Biden has pledged to move away from fossil fuels. But the project has the backing of officials including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — who's viewed as a potential ally for Biden in his attempts to push through policies in an evenly divided Senate, NYT notes.
Exxon is pledging more board additions ahead of a showdown with activist investors pressing for more aggressive moves on climate change and capital discipline on oil development.
Why it matters: The move comes just ahead of Wednesday's annual meeting, when shareholders will vote on whether to approve four board members nominated by the investment group Engine No. 1.
Exxon's annual meeting Wednesday will bring the most closely watched shareholder votes on global warming in Big Oil's history.
Driving the news: Activist investors Engine No. 1 have nominated four board members who would seek to make Exxon more aggressive on climate.
Oil prices have continued to rise, gaining again on Tuesday after rising to the highest in two years on Monday.
Why it matters: Inflation worries and concerns that prices have run past reasonable valuations have weighed on equities recently, but bullish oil traders continue to be handsomely rewarded this year.