Black Wednesday for three oil companies

It was a bad week for three big oil companies which culminated with news on Wednesday. In an article in The Guardian called
“‘Black Wednesday’ for big oil as courtrooms and boardrooms turn on industry” by Jillian Ambrose, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Chevron all received a message they need to do better in complying with actions to combat climate change.

A link to the article is below. Here are a few select paragraphs that give you the gist.

“The world’s patience with the fossil fuel industry is wearing thin. This was the stark message delivered to major international oil companies this week in an unprecedented day of reckoning for their role in the climate crisis.

In a stunning series of defeats for the oil industry, over the course of less than 24 hours, courtrooms and boardrooms turned on the executives at Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Shell was ordered by a court in The Hague to go far further to reduce its climate emissions, while shareholder rebellions in the US imposed emissions targets at Chevron and a boardroom overhaul at Exxon.

‘There is no doubt that this week’s news has been not so much a shot across the bows as a direct hit to the hull of Big Oil,’ says Mark Lewis, the chief sustainability strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management. ‘They will have to recognise now that no amount of patching up the hole will do; shareholders and society want the vessel completely overhauled.’

‘It was honestly a really emotional moment,’ says Jasper Teulings, the former general counsel for Greenpeace International. The ruling by the Dutch court ordering Shell to cut its emissions by 45% within the next 10 years ‘shifts the debate’ and could influence courtrooms across the globe, he told the Guardian.

‘It makes clear that the onus is on the industry to act, and that it can be held accountable to take very specific steps. It’s very relevant in legal terms because the ruling was very pure in its demand: it’s not about money, it’s about conduct. It was astutely reasonable,’ he says.”

This is a major step forward for those fighting to corral and reverse climate change. The shareholder actions are indicative of a movement that started making strides in 2017 requiring three energy companies to inform shareholders of their progress in addressing climate change.

Let’s hope management is listening. With the removal of a couple of board members, that is a clear sign they better.

14 thoughts on “Black Wednesday for three oil companies

  1. Hello Keith. Your post shows clearly that while corporations and some politicians are stuck in a long ago time, the majority of the population of today lives in today. The demographics have not frozen in time as these corporations and politicians would desperately wish and try to keep. The people of today do not want the culture and ideas of the 1950’s, a time of 70 years ago. The people of today are overwhelming tired of living in the last century as a few powerful people and a shrinking minority want them too. This applies to the other culture wars and shifts also. Have a great weekend. Hugs

    • Scottie, so true. My friend Hugh does not post much anymore, but he would say if these folks don’t keep up, the new world of energy will pass them buy. US automakers (not Tesla) have to go electric or they will get left behind. Solar and wind energy need not be huge projects to produce electricity. And, a new coal plant will be obsolete before it is finished. I think back on GM, who collected and shredded their EV-1s back in the first few years of this century. The leasing owners offered to buy them, but were told “no.” The GM Board asked management why they were doing this, as were not electric cars a future trend. They said they would build Hummers instead, which are no longer made.

      This is a shake up to fossil fuel management. It will continue, so they better pay attention. Keith

      • Hello Keith. Yes what you say is true. Yet also the US manufactures have made a huge shift to electric vehicles the last few years, simply because a lot of countries have mandated that only electric vehicles be sold by certain dates. The US manufacturers simply do not want to be left out, and they also don’t want to have to make product lines of both electric and non-electric vehicles. This fall we are going to trade our small ford fuel efficient car in for an electric- gas hybrid. When we went looking I was stunned at the availability and the reasonable prices in most of the manufactures for those cars. Three years ago when we bought this car the choice of hybrids was limited, now it seems to be exploding. Also the price for them has come way down. It use to be a premium level to get a hybrid or fully electric. Now the price is comparable and even cheaper if you live in a state that has incentives for hybrids. I admit I have had to readjust my thinking for this, and I am excited about it. Hugs

      • Scottie, I agree, it is exciting with more options. You are right about the foreign country impetus. Keith

  2. A real shot across the bows that maybe not even more donations to Politicians will be able to be able to stem Now is a good time for them to start looking into alternatives.

  3. I like to think this is a sign that people are finally waking up to the realities of climate change, finally willing to take some responsibility toward fixing the problems. Fingers crossed … time will tell.

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