Chevron investors back proposal for more emissions cuts

A Chevron gas station sign is seen in Del Mar, California, April 25, 2013. Chevron will report earnings on April 26. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

May 26 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp (CVX.N) shareholders on Wednesday voted in favor of a proposal to cut emissions generated by the use of the company's products, a move that underscores growing investor push at energy companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Shareholders voted 61% in favor of the proposal to cut so called "Scope 3" emissions, according to a preliminary count announced by Chevron at its annual general meeting.

Although the proposal does not require Chevron to set a target of how much it needs to cut emissions or by when, the overwhelming support for it shows growing investor frustration with companies, which, they believe, are not doing enough to tackle climate change.

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Chevron's closest rival, lost two director seats to Engine No. 1, a tiny activist hedge fund, which holds a stake barely worth $50 million in a company, whose market value is $250 billion. read more

A Dutch court on Wednesday also ordered European oil major Shell (RDSa.L) to significantly deepen planned greenhouse gas emission cuts, a landmark ruling that could pave the way for legal action against energy companies around the world. read more

Oil and gas companies have long argued that they have little control over how their products are used, but with rising investor pressure they are forced to find new ways to cut emissions and fall in line with global climate change pledges. U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Chevron shareholders approved the slate of directors and executive pay by 96% and 94% votes, respectively, although they voted heavily in favor of other proposals Chevron had opposed.

One proposal, which called on Chevron to prepare a report on the impact its business would have from the net zero 2050 scenario, was narrowly defeated with about 48% votes in favor of it.

Another proposal demanding the company report more information on its lobbying activities also received about 48% votes.

Chevron has pledged to limit carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, but has not set long-term targets to achieve net zero as many European oil companies have done.

Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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