For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Stefanie Spear, sspear@asyousow.org, 216-387-1609

Shareholders Must Demand Oil & Gas Companies Implement Paris Compliant Plans

Strategic review looks at impact of seven years of resolutions on moving oil & gas on climate change and investor underperformance due to holding the sector

Oakland, CA - Today’s release of “2020: A Clear Vision for Paris Compliant Shareholder Engagement” lays out a clear plan for shareholders to move oil & gas companies to transition to 2 degree-compliant business models.

As You Sow, a leading shareholder advocacy organization, which filed the first stranded asset resolution in 2013 and has since engaged the oil & gas industry on critical climate issues, analyzed 160 climate-focused shareholder resolutions filed with 24 oil & gas companies from 2012-2018.

The report concludes that, while progress has been made on some climate-related issues, the most fundamental hurdle has not been overcome. The business model for oil & gas companies remains in direct opposition to shareholders’ long-term goal of reigning in climate change pollution.

At the same time, risk for shareholders of these companies grows as the energy market moves to decarbonize—from direct competition from low-cost, low-carbon technologies to increasingly stringent greenhouse gas regulations, the window for business as usual, fossil fuel-based energy, is rapidly closing. Recent studies show that, as oil & gas companies’ business fundamentals have weakened and company values fallen, they have trailed the benchmark over the past decade, causing pension funds, university endowments, and other institutional investors’ portfolios to underperform.

“The impacts of shareholder advocacy on climate have not resulted in material change in the oil & gas industry,” Andrew Behar, co-author of the report and As You Sow CEO, said. “Other sectors respond to their shareholders with action. But oil & gas, even with majority votes, have not stepped up to address the growing risks to their companies, the broader economy, and our planet.”

Today’s report concludes that engagement activity has made progress in many areas, including awareness of climate risk, adding climate-competent board members, and reduced operational emissions. However, no company has put forth a truly Paris compliant plan with transparent methods of assessment and disclosure, and no U.S. oil & gas company has committed to end exploration and development that is incompatible with attaining 2°C.

“We are at a crossroads. It’s time to look at our progress objectively and chart a new course,” Behar concluded.

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As You Sow is the nation’s non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit.

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.

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