It’s a big day in the oil sector as Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB) is due to receive the verdict on a landmark hearing, while ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) are holding AGMs.
Shell has been brought to court by seven activist groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Netherlands, to challenge its climate strategy.
It’s the first time environmentalists are forcing corporate change through a lawsuit, Reuters reported.
The case was filed in 2019 on behalf of more than 17,000 Dutch citizens on the basis that the oiler is threatening human rights by investing in fossil fuels.
They demand the FTSE 100 group cuts CO2 emissions by 45% over this decade, which is much higher than the 20% set by the company.
Shell, which has set a net-zero goal by 2050, came under fire at its AGM last week after 11% of shareholders voted against its plan to decarbonise operations.
A third of investors voted in favour of a resolution put forward by activist group Follow This, which called the firm to set ‘inspirational targets’ to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Chevron, #Shell & #Exxon are all facing relatively new lines of attack from campaigners & shareholders. The "3 big tests" have potential to "change the status quo" in the #FossilFuel industry, said @MikeCoffin, senior analyst at Carbon Tracker https://t.co/Gn3VFUF6uH #ExxonAGM— Carbon Tracker (@CarbonBubble) May 26, 2021
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil and Chevron are hosting their shareholder meetings today which aren’t set to be a walk in the park.
ExxonMobil, the largest oiler in the US, has been criticised for taking little action to make its activities greener.
Investors have been demanding a net-zero pledge by 2050, although chief executive Darren Woods has previously said companies doing so have no real plans to meet their goals.
Tech investor Chris James’s Engine No. 1 has been lobbying other shareholders to back its four climate-oriented board nominees, the Wall Street Journal reported, in a war culminating on Wednesday.
In fact, if any of these appointments go ahead, Woods may have trouble implementing the current fossil fuel-focused strategy.
Chevron’s AGM is set to be much less heated, however shareholders are due to vote on remuneration packages after disappointing quarterly results, where earnings dropped to US$1.3bn from US$3.6bn last year.
Shell dipped 1% to 1,306.91p while ExxonMobil and Chevron were flat at US$58.12 and US$103.94 on Wednesday.