Richard Ginika Izuora
Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. shareholders have rejected activist demands to take responsibility for curbing emissions by motorists and industries that burn their fuels.
Roughly 90 per cent of investors in North America’s two largest oil producers shot down a proposal by environmental group Follow This that urged executives to set targets for reducing so-called Scope 3 emissions.
For Exxon and Chevron, support for the measure slipped by more than half from a year ago.
Exxon, Chevron and many of the other major international oil explorers and refiners already have laid out plans to cut climate-damaging pollution from internal activities such as drilling and fuel-making, also known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Scope 3 controls have been a tougher sell among US fossil-fuel producers because executives maintain that those emissions are the responsibility of customers that burn their products. One of the industry’s only options would be to curtail production of things like gasoline and diesel.
Read More: Exxon Emissions Rise Most Since 2018 on Oil-Refining Rebound
Targeting Scope 3 emissions is a “deeply flawed” approach, Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods told investors.
“If an energy company discontinues operations to meet Scope 3 targets while the demand for energy remains, consumers can be forced to make do with less energy, pay significantly higher prices or return to higher-emitting sources,” he said.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, meanwhile, urged shareholders to vote down the proposal, noting that “the majority of Chevron’s Scope 3 emissions result from the use of products by customers, not activities controlled by Chevron.”
Follow This Founder Mark van Baal said it’s “incomprehensible that most investors still accept these supermajors’ refusal to cut emissions this decade.”