Sampension and West Yorkshire Pension Fund have co-filed a shareholder resolution at Norwegian oil company Equinor, asking it to update its strategy and capital expenditure plan to back up its commitment to supporting international climate goals.

Achmea Investment Management and Sarasin are the other co-filers of the resolution, which the majority government-owned company has said other shareholders should reject.

This is similar to the situation at Shell, where the company is also advising a vote against an institutional investor-backed resolution. However, Dutch investor MN has disclosed this morning it will vote against Shell’s strategy.

According to the investor quartet, Equinor’s pledge to support the goals of the Paris Agreement is not supported by its strategy or capital expenditure plans.

“Above all, Equinor’s plan to maintain stable fossil fuel production to 2035 and to develop new reserves that lock in production beyond 2050 fails to accept either the societal imperative of decarbonisation, or the economics of falling oil and gas demand,” they argue in a 14-page statement elaborating on their proposal.

oil station Equinor

Norwegian oil company is saying shareholders should vote against the resolution

Without changes, the current strategy exposes shareholders to rising risks of impairments from over-investment in fossil fuel production, they said.

They added: “As long-term investors, we applaud Equinor’s leadership in committing to support the Paris Agreement. Through this resolution, we offer our support to the board to make this pledge a reality.”

Equinor, in turn, has said that shareholders should vote against the proposal, based on arguments including that “[m]ore investments in energy production and infrastructure are needed to secure security of supply and reduce the cost of energy”.

It also said that until a market for hydrogen and carbon capture and storage is well established, “absolute emission targets that include end-user emissions will only be achieved by selling or shutting down profitable oil and gas production, thus shifting indirect end use emissions to other producers”.

Equinor’s annual general meeting is scheduled for 14 May.

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