Judgment day for Big Oil
EMERGENCY EDITION: Shell in Dutch court drama, as shareholder rebellions rock Exxon and Chevron
Yesterday a transatlantic earthquake struck Big Oil.
First, a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its emissions by 45% this decade, in a landmark ruling that also found the Anglo-Dutch oil major liable for Scope 3 emissions from customers and suppliers. This has big implications for other big emitters.
Then, shareholders defied both ExxonMobil and Chevron to pass resolutions filed by climate-conscious activist investors. What does this mean? ExxonMobil will get at least two new board members and will have to come clean on its climate lobbying; while Chevron must now set and meet Scope 3 emissions reductions targets.
Any one of these events would be significant in its own right, but three on the same day is historic. They prove that investor sentiment is turning much more quickly than board members realise, and that C-suite oil executives arguing for a cautious approach to change are losing the argument with their fiduciaries.
The Shell ruling marks “the first…