As a result of engagement led by Climate Action 100+ signatory investors, Equinor has agreed to make strengthened commitments on climate change. Engagement with the company was led by UBS Asset Management, HSBC Global Asset Management and Storebrand Asset Management.
Members of the global Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee released the following comments:
Stephanie Pfeifer, a member of the global Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee and CEO, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), explains: “Equinor is one of an emerging group of oil and gas majors that understand the need to act on climate change to secure their place in a cleaner global economy. Building on the welcome steps it has already taken, investors will continue to work with Equinor on fully aligning its business with the goals of the Paris Agreement. They also expect others in the sector to follow its lead or face the consequences of ignoring some of their largest shareholders.”
“CalPERS applauds Equinor’s positive response to Climate Action 100+ engagement,” adds Anne Simpson, a member of the Climate Action 100+ global Steering Committee and CalPERS Director of Board Governance and Strategy. “This sets the stage for aligning the company’s strategy on climate change transition in line with the Paris goals of keeping global warming in check. We look forward to Equinor setting out their plans for addressing its impact on regional sites to ensure protection of ecologically sensitive areas such as those in Australia.”
“With this latest climate announcement by Equinor, we now have several of the major oil and gas giants in Europe taking steps to align their long-term strategies with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mindy Lubber, a member of the global Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee, and Ceres CEO and President. “This announcement underscores just how far behind ExxonMobil, in particular, has fallen, and intensifies pressure on the company to follow suit.”
Fiona Reynolds, a member of the global Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee and CEO of PRI commented: “Equinor’s commitment to aligning business activities with the Paris Agreement is an important step for the company and for the sector. It is also consistent with the recent recommendations from Norway’s Climate Risk Commission on how to better manage climate risks. We strongly encourage other oil and gas companies to also take a progressive, committed and proactive stance to act on climate change.”
“While a constructive first step, it is important that investor engagement continue to scrutinize how emerging climate change planning actively considers the impact of capital expenditure into locally sensitive and high impact projects, such as the opening up of the Great Australian Bight to oil and gas drilling,” said Emma Herd, a member of the global Climate Action 100+ Steering Committee and Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) CEO. “Investors will be closely scrutinising the alignment of climate change commitments and project development and will continue to pursue constructive outcomes.”
Notes to editor
ABOUT CLIMATE ACTION 100+
Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. More than 450 investors with more than $40 trillion in assets collectively under management are engaging companies on improving governance, curbing emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures. The companies include 100 ‘systemically important emitters’, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition.
Launched in December 2017, Climate Action 100+ is coordinated by five partner organisations: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC); Ceres (Ceres); Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC); Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). These organisations, along with five investor representatives from AustralianSuper, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), HSBC Global Asset Management, Ircantec and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, form the global Steering Committee for the initiative. Follow us on Twitter: @ActOnClimate100.