Oil giants forced to take care of the planet

Energy investors, managing $ 10 trillion in investments, have published an extensive environmental agenda for oil giants such as BP and Shell. Shareholders are urging companies to take care of the planet by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and curtailing fossil fuel production, Reuters writes.

The unprecedented investor initiative, the Net Zero Standard for Oil and Gas, outlines ten must-haves that companies need to meet to slow global warming. The rules will help finance managers determine whether their firm’s strategy is in line with UN plans to reduce global carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The proposed standards also force companies to disclose the details of their environmental strategies and allow independent experts to review them to ensure “credibility”.

Ahead of the UN’s November World Climate Change Conference, there is growing concern that the strategies of some companies are unreliable. Oil and gas giants such as BP and Shell have published plans to tackle climate change, but it is very difficult for investors to analyze and compare this information in detail. “Now [у компаний] there must be a level playing field for disclosure because it is impossible to compare and contrast data across the sector, ”said Head of Responsible Investment at the Church of England Pension Council Adam Matthews, who led the development of the new initiative. Among its participants are Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi, as well as the British company Legal & General Investment Management, the American firm HSBC Global Asset Management and the state-backed Canadian investor Caisse des Depots.

According to Matthews, investors did not set a deadline for fulfilling all the rules of the program, but intend to vote against specific plans of the companies and appoint new directors if they are not satisfied with the policies of the firms. The creators of the project announced that the standards will be implemented on a pilot basis by leading energy companies, including BP, Shell, Eni, Repsol and TotalEnergies. Shell has already stated that it is delighted to be involved in the pilot project and that “establishing a standardized approach that allows investors to fairly assess companies’ progress would be a valuable step forward.”

Shell, Italy’s Eni and Norway’s Equinor have pledged to completely eliminate emissions by 2050. This goal assumes that pollution will be offset by carbon capture and storage technologies or other solutions such as reforestation. BP and TotalEnergies intend to reduce emissions from part of their operations to zero by 2025.

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