By Liz Hampton
(Reuters) -ConocoPhillips shareholders on Tuesday did not support a proposal to include its customers’ emissions to its greenhouse gas reduction targets, according to a preliminary tally of votes on the resolution.
Only 39% of shareholders voted in favor of an environmental group’s proposal for the company to set overall reductions targets aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. That included limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Major oil and gas producers have come under mounting pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change. While many have set targets for reducing their own direct and indirect emissions, or so-called Scope 1 and 2, those generated by customers’ use of their oil and gas products, called Scope 3, have face more opposition.
Conoco’s board recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal, saying it did not believe Scope 3 targets were appropriate for a company focused entirely on the exploration and production of fossil fuels.
Last year, 58% of Conoco’s shareholders voted in favor of a measure to set reduction targets for emissions from its operations and products; however, that resolution did not specify aligning its goals with the Paris Agreement.
Dutch activist group Follow This, which submitted the proposal, said the decline in support may have been the result of more stringent targets for 2022’s proposal. Conoco may have convinced investors that addressing the current energy shortage overrides dealing with climate change, it also said.
Last week, shareholders of U.S. oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp voted against a Follow This proposal to extend its emissions reductions targets.
Meanwhile, some 92% of Conoco’s shareholders were estimated to have voted in favor of its board of directors.
(Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; Additional reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Franklin Paul and Bernadette Baum)