Shareholders reject stricter climate change rules

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Reuters reported that shareholders in ConocoPhillips Co. rejected a proposal to create even stricter standards toward reduction of carbon emissions.

The proposal called for the standards to be in line with the Paris Agreement and the defeat was considered to be another blow to environmentalists who targeted the company.

“We believe that the Company could lead and thrive in the energy transition. We therefore encourage you to set targets that are
inspirational for society, employees, shareholders, and the energy sector, allowing the company to meet an increasing demand for
energy while reducing GHG emissions to levels consistent with curbing climate change,” wrote the group supporting the proposal.

An estimated 60% of the shareholders voted against the proposal initiated by Follow This, a Dutch investor group.

ConocoPhillips had argued against the stricter standards, contending it did not refine or distribute oil and gas and thus should be held responsible for customer emissions.

“—as purely an upstream producer, ConocoPhillips does not control how the commodities we sell are converted into different products or ultimately used, creating a limited scope of actions available to the company. Multiple counting of end-use emissions along the oil and natural gas value chain makes accurate accounting and credible target-setting extremely problematic. In our view, supply-side constraints for oil and gas producers do not address demand and are ineffective in reducing global emissions,” stated the company in its opposing statement.