How to improve the oil industry internally

Mark van Baal at the 2019 Symposium in London.Follow this

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After a devastating summer of hurricanes, heat waves, floods, and fires, climate change does not seem to be a shock to at least one in 3 Americans. At the beginning of July this year, eight climate-related disasters, which caused at least $ 1 billion or more in economic losses, killed at least 331 people.

Mark van Baal saw it all happen. In Europe, a one-time refrigeration system vendor became a journalist for “doing so irresponsibly.” Inspired by Al GoreInconvenient truth A.D. He made climate change zero in 2006 and came to see the fossil fuels industry as the main culprit. After 10 years of working as a journalist, however, he became frustrated with his limited ability to write about change. “I have come to the conclusion that Shell does not listen to journalists, activist groups or governments,” wrote Van Baal. Only shareholders can persuade Shell to choose another subject. So he moved from journalism to advocacy.

The 20 largest corporations responsible for one-third of all carbon emissions — and for decades the betrayal propaganda — have been opposed to efforts to regulate their operations. Van Baal set out to enforce that agreement, believing that the success of the Paris Agreement was based on the Big Oil. A.D. In 2015, he organized a joint venture against fossil fuels, hoping to “bring the executives to their heels.”

Here’s how it works – Van Balm facilitates small stock purchases by private investors in an oil company. After those investors have accumulated enough shares (for Shell, it had a minimum value of ሚሊዮን 5 million), they will be able to represent this to the decision of the Board of Directors. The resolutions require companies to commit to compliance with the Paris Agreement. This forces the board to take a stand on the issue, and requires sound shareholders to make an active choice.

The team’s first target was In 2016, only 3% of shareholders supported climate change. (CEO Ben van Berden advises them to protest) The board. He announced that he would reduce emissions by half by 2050 that same year. The company has promised no immediate action, but Van Ba’al’s announcement shows a change in the conversation.

Following today, thousands of “green shareholders” have announced their decision to squeeze out the leaders of 12 different oil and gas companies. As a result, the team reports, ll, echinor and BP set climate goals, and climate decisions gained a majority over Konko, Phillips, Philips 66 and Chevron. So I went to Van Baal to ask what the changes meant for the big oil. His responses were adjusted for length and clarity.

Talk a little bit about your organization’s growth.

Yes, we now have about 8,000 green shareholders who share our firm belief that we need to change the oil industry to stop climate change and achieve any of Paris’ goals. We use copyright in these companies to change their approach. We think this is important, because at the end of the day, these companies are the only shareholders to listen to. Most oil companies have more power than most [other] Companies and most countries.

Why such a method?

We have to convince the board, and they will not change voluntarily. When I started following this, and even when I was a journalist, I sometimes dreamed that I would have CEO Epiphani. These people live in a world like ours. And they should see that the only way to protect supply chains is to change their operations drastically. So sometimes I take a picture of an executive with one of their children in an emotional argument and a sleepless night and then he sees the light.

But that will not happen. They are deeply rooted in their historical business model, which essentially converts hydrocarbons into petro dollars. They have given their work to this simple model to refine and sell oil. So they cannot think of another world. But fortunately, investors can. They know that if the crisis turns into a catastrophic disaster, billions of people are at risk. So it is really a disaster management.

They have made some profit, but how can these executives really be approached?

Investors need to strengthen. The only way these companies can change is when investors make a big choice for such decisions. Because otherwise they can always say that investors are happy with their behavior. With this group of retail shareholders, we have been able to show that there are many people who want these companies to change and see them as part of the solution. So we make the shareholders’ decisions, we make sure it’s on the agenda, and the investors have to vote – but we really want the big institutional investors to convince them.

What do you want from the companies?

We have a very simple and consistent question – give yourself a deal with Paris, give yourself emissions reductions in accordance with the agreement. And science basically commands. If we have any chance of achieving the Paris Agreement, it should be reduced by 40 percent by 2030 and zero by 2050. That is the scientific meaning. Therefore, a significant reduction in emissions over the next 10 years. That was the only thing we asked for.

And how do you describe emissions?

The main content is to set different consistent targets all of them Releases. We make it very clear that it is not only the company’s emissions but also its products. That is the key conversation. Do they have to prepare the release for the company or all the releases responsible for them? For this reason, it is “the width of three releases.”

Why do fossil fuels resist change?

You know the result. They know they have to stop investing in oil and gas and invest in something else. For shareholders, this must be resisted because it is an unreasonable question, because we are not responsible. We have no control over the release of our products.

When your decision received little attention, it promised to become a net zero emission company by 2050. Why do you think they did that?

So then you can say for sure that they are the first [global oil company] To take responsibility for the scope of three product releases. They basically say, “Your decision is unnecessary because we are now leading the industry with this hope for 2050. So now you have to focus on other gas stations. We did, but we continue to put pressure on Sheol because we really want the industry to change over the next decade. The promise for 2050 is worthless without immediate action, right? Over the next 10 years, most oil tycoons will be in business, and then we will have no chance of reaching an agreement with Paris.

Delay is the new denial!

I think there are three steps. First, oil companies rejected climate change. They then denied that the supply side was a problem. They are “consumers. And as long as people want to fly, and drive, then there is nothing we can do. We have now submitted the request. The denial now is, “We must change, but we can only change slowly.” So they do this delay. Many gas stations have good prospects for 2050.

How do they light a fire under them?

You need institutional investors to reach the masses. It should be clear to the industry that there is no time for gradual transition. If they want a gradual transition, they should start in the ’80s – and then decide to fund climate change. It must be a very disturbing transition.

But is all this too late?

I think it is possible to reach an agreement with Paris, but that would mean reducing emissions by about 40 percent worldwide. Over the next 10 years, about half of the oil and gas needs to be replaced by renewable energy. And technically it is possible. What do you have enough sunlight, wind, storms to control the world economy? Supply is not a problem. The only problem is the existing ones who refuse to change.

How do these oil executives ignore the most obvious threat of climate change?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this – how can you not see this? We are heading deep, will you play a major role? I always cite Kodak’s situation because it is such a clear example. Kodak invented digital photography in [the mid-1970s.] And they were so afraid that they did not dare bring it to market. They were very familiar with the sales of their old business model.

[Renewable energy] It is becoming cheaper and cheaper. And oil extraction is becoming more and more expensive. The real problem is in the boards of these companies. There are people who have come to the board with the greatest success in a single business model. That’s the saying, but Bill Gates always says that success is a boring teacher – he convinces smart people that they can’t go wrong. I can’t get into the minds of CEOs. Probably a factor as to why they’re doing so poorly. They said, “OK, I don’t know. I do not know exactly what will happen in the future. ”

I don’t think we should take the lives of these people lightly. Imagine a company in the early 20’s. You will find a new job in the new world. They take your family around the world. It is a sacrifice. And then every mission is very successful, and you get promotion. And finally they reach the top of the pyramid. And then outsiders will tell you that you need a new business model!

But the big issue is not wanting to sacrifice the golden goose?

Of Reason We have succeeded because investors are now looking at how dangerous climate change is in their portfolios. Traditionally, an investor responsible for pensions says, “We give the most flexibility to each company, because that’s what we have to do for your retirees.” And now they say, “Our whole portfolio is in jeopardy. So we put restrictions on the oil and gas industry.

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