ConocoPhillips investors reject plan for stricter climate goals

Pumpjack in the Bakken Source: ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips shareholders rejected a proposal for the oil explorer to set more rigorous targets for greenhouse-gas emissions. 

More than 60 per cent of shareholders voted against the plan during its annual meeting on Tuesday, according to preliminary results issued by the company. 

The vote was another blow to environmental activists who have been pressuring major oil companies to lay out more concrete plans to combat climate change. A similar proposal at Occidental Petroleum Corp. failed to garner enough votes this month. 

Dutch investor group Follow This urged ConocoPhillips and several other oil companies to set short-, medium- and long-term targets to reduce carbon emissions, including those of its customers, in line with the Paris Agreement. 

ConocoPhillips’ board opposed the measure, arguing in its proxy statement that producers that don’t refine or distribute oil and gas shouldn’t be responsible for customer emissions. The company also said its investors are not clamoring for more emissions targets, and that it’s investing in carbon capture and hydrogen to help the world decarbonize. 

Shareholders also rejected a proposal by nonprofit ethics group National Legal and Policy Center that urged ConocoPhillips to disclose its lobbying communications and payments in an annual report. Oil companies have faced mounting pressure in recent years to disclose lobbying efforts on a variety of climate legislation. 

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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