Near majority of shareholders demand Chevron enhanced methane emission disclosure

Resolution gets 45% backing from investors

Almost 45% of investors voting at yesterday’s Chevron AGM backed a shareholder resolution asking the oil major to report on methane emissions, according to As You Sow, leader of the proposal.
The resolution demanded the board to prepare a report on Chevron’s “actions beyond regulatory requirements to minimize methane emission, particularly leakage”.
It was co-filed exercising the shareholder rights of The Park Foundation, represented by As You Sow, and Mercy Investments acting on behalf of four faith-based investors: Dignity Health, Adrian Dominican Sisters, Congregation of St. Joseph and Dominican Sisters of Hope. 
All of them hold about 350 shares, worth approximately $41,500 at today’s trading price.
As You Sow and the co-filers argued that methane emissions are among the cheapest to abate, quoting a 2017 study by International Energy Agency.
Nonetheless, Chevron has failed to disclose the information necessary to allow investors to assess its leak detection and repair practices, lagging behind its peers, the proponent shareholders stated in the resolution.
Chevron had recommended to vote against the resolution, as it did not take into account its “demonstrated efforts and progress” in its methane emissions management.Chevron argued it has sponsored key scientific research to better understand methane emissions, enhanced its inspection and repair facilities, implemented new technologies and improved its Corporate Responsibility Report.
In addition, it highlighted its membership and support of industry initiatives to tackle this issue, such as being a signatory of UN- backed Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Guiding Principles on Reducing Methane Emissions across the Natural Gas Value Chain.
Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow, commended Chevron for this but added: “Joining a voluntary programme like the Guiding Principles is no substitute for demonstrated methane reduction action. Shareholders today recognise Chevron’s progress, but underscore the importance of demonstrating on-the-ground change on this important climate change issue.”
Last year, Chevron’s peer Exxon responded to investor concerns on this issue by implementing a methane management programme and setting a reduction target.
Sean Wright, Senior Manager at Environmental Defense Fund, said stakeholders “will be watching Chevron closely to see if it seizes this opportunity and follows Exxon’s lead.”