Saturday , July 2 2022

Shareholder group goes to the fight against oil fighters – Equinor – Energy


Mark van Baal is looking for the very big ones.

At the Equinor general meeting in Stavanger last week, the Netherlands challenged the company to take more responsibility for its emissions, and the trip to BP will now be on Tuesday, 21 May and Exxon and Chevron on 29 May. .

Spring and time for general meetings, and the stakeholder association Follow This is about to present its climate proposals in the hope of bringing enough shareholders to the boards to change their strategy.

Follow This suggests that companies such as Equinor and BP set emission reduction targets that include all emissions from the oil and gas they produce, including customer emissions – that are not Companies are making them today.

The BP board, which is led by the former Statoil CEO, Helge Lund, as an Equinor board, has recommended that shareholders vote not for the decision of Follow This.

"BP has the same position as Equinor:" Scope 3 "is not a problem for us," said Mark van Baal to E24.

By measuring emissions by "Scope 3" one includes the emissions from the abstraction itself and, in addition, the customer's use of the energy the company has to supply t , like using gasoline in cars or gas for heating houses.

– No majority required

E24 met Mark van Baal after the General Assembly of Equinors last week.

– Do you get the majority for your suggestions?

– We do not need a majority, only a significant proportion of the votes, said van Baal.

– Why?

"With Shell we've shown that six percent of the votes are achievable, and they're probably effective in getting the company to change its stance," he said.

Dutch Shell has followed up van Baal's offer of general meetings in previous years. It didn't happen through the general meeting itself, but then.

Shell has now pledged to take responsibility for all emissions from the products they supply, also customer emissions, and has set a target to halve emissions by 2050.

Read more: t Australian delegation shows at the General Assembly of Equinor

– Strong sign

Equinor, unlike Shell, only takes responsibility for the small proportion of the emissions from oil production, not over 300 million tonnes – six times Norway's emissions – coming t o customer use of Equinor products.

According to Equinor, the proposal by Mark van Baal and Follow this in the general meeting was supported by just 1.64 percent of the shareholders, and so voted on it.

Follow This states that two-thirds of the company is not traded, but is owned by the state. If this percentage is kept out of the way, the offer was 12 per cent, according to van Baal calculations.

In addition, 7.49 per cent of the shareholders with the exception of the government abstained from voting, according to Follow This.

– This is a very strong sign to the board that they must take responsibility for the emissions of their products. You don't need the majority to influence the oil companies, said van Baal.

Read more: t Aker Solutions is hoping for a Norwegian offshore wind: – It is urgent if Norway is not left on stage

– More than expected

– So you are not disappointed with 12 percent support among the shareholders who are not part of the government?

– No, that's much more than expected, he said.

– They have to do something. It depends on what they do if we want to reintroduce the decision. Shell has taken a very big step to take responsibility for "Scope 3", so we took this decision from the General Assembly this year to give them a break to adapt to the Paris Agreement, said van Baal.

Mark van Baal says he will be happy with Equinor and other oil companies first if they follow three steps:

The case is still under the advertisement.

  1. take responsibility for all their emissions, after "Scope 3"
  2. adapt its climate cuts so that they are in line with the Paris climate agreement from 2015 onwards
  3. then invest (in eg renewable energy)

– Shell has taken the first step, but needs to take steps two and three. Equinor has not always taken the first step. Although they still say that their emissions are not a problem for them, van Baal said.

"I believe more and more investors will not accept this," he adds.

Equinor is investing in renewable energy

– Equinor can argue that they have done something at stage three by investing heavily in renewable energy. Is it important in practice whether to take responsibility for the emissions after Scope 3?

– I think they need it. First you set a goal and then you invest. I don't think Equinor will make 100 per cent of its investments in renewable energy, just 4.9 per cent now, he said.

– The remaining 85 per cent will still get more oil and gas, more CO₂, more climate change. It's not in line with the aim under two degree heat, he adds.

Equinor has set a target of 15 to 20 per cent of the company's investments going to new energy solutions such as wind and CO and offshore by 2030. The company has built offshore wind at the UK and Germany, and is now focusing on countries such as Poland, USA and Japan.

Read more (+): Equinor shares the environmental movement

– Imagination missing

Follow This leader believes that the major oil companies' boards are without the imagination needed to illustrate a world driven by other energy sources.

– They do not have the full imagination to predict world without oil and gas. I understand. They have had success in oil and gas throughout their careers. If they are under 60, they may have 35 years behind extreme success in oil and gas, or they would not have reached the top of the company. But success is a bad teacher, van Baal said.

It doesn't give you the best fight against the oil giants. Now it's traveling to the UK to get a similar message to the oil company BP, and so it will continue until it eventually wins among all the companies.

– The goal is that all oil giants start investing according to the target under two degrees of heat. This means that most of their investments are going to renewable energy, and that it will happen in time to prevent climate change, says van Baal.

– If that happens, what do you do then?

– First we have to celebrate. But then I think we might be an organization that helps all sorts of companies with long-term challenges, he says.

Every company will benefit from having shareholders helping them look to the next generation rather than the next quarter, whether it's climate change, diversity, cyclical economy, and differences t wages, "he said.

Read more (+): The discovery of oil made mosquitoes giants

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