Equinor rejects climate resolution proposals

FILE PHOTO: Equinor's flag flutters next to the company's headqurters in Stavanger, Norway December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

OSLO (Reuters) - Equinor’s board has rejected all shareholder climate resolutions, including one asking to set more ambitious emission reduction targets, the company said in a notice to the annual shareholders’ meeting published on Thursday.

In February, Equinor announced plans to reduce its net carbon intensity by at least 50% by 2050, for the first time including so-called Scope 3 emissions, or emissions from the use of its products, which is the bulk of Equinor’s emissions.

However Follow This, a group representing about 5,400 green-minded shareholders in oil and gas companies, said the ambition fell short of actions required to keep global warming at well below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial times, proposing a motion for Equinor’s AGM on May 14.

Equinor’s board also rejected shareholder resolutions calling to stop exploring for oil, selling its assets abroad, splitting the company into two parts - one for oil and gas production and one for renewable energy - and phasing out petroleum production by 2040.

“We asked in the resolution Equinor to set short-, medium-, and long-term targets that are aligned with the Paris Agreement. Today they are not aligned,” Follow This founder Mark van Baal told Reuters.

The board said Equinor was “strongly” supporting the ambitions set by the Paris Agreement, while its climate strategy was supporting “a balanced transition to low carbon society” and said it recommended the AGM vote against the proposals from the shareholders.

The company has said it will develop carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen production to reach its net emission reduction target, as well as using an emissions offset mechanism and forest planting.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jason Neely