BIS has engaged with Equinor over the past several years on a range of governance and material sustainability topics, including climate-related disclosures…On balance, we believe that the quality of these disclosures is adequate and consistent with our expectation of large carbon emitters with a previous history of engagement with BIS on the topic.
We note that independent of our own engagements with the company, in April 2019, Equinor released a joint statement prepared with investors participating in Climate Action 100+, where the company announced the new steps to demonstrate further industry leadership on climate change and strong support for the goals of the Paris Agreement. The joint statement acknowledges that the company will take steps in each of the following areas:
• Stress testing of the portfolio and new material capital expenditures
• Climate-related ambitions, targets and key performance indicators (KPIs)
• Targets linked to remuneration
• Measures to drive decarbonization
• Climate policy engagement and transparency
In the statement, the institutional investors recognized that, “Equinor has demonstrated leadership on climate change in a number of important areas. Its corporate strategy and recent name change provide clear signals of its intent to develop as a broad energy company and shift towards a greater proportion of low-carbon assets. Equinor has invested in renewables and low-carbon energy technologies, has made positive progress in its approach to emission and resource management and has played an important role in promoting implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). We acknowledge the efforts made by Equinor to date to embed climate change into its strategy, risk assessments, investment decisions, operating decisions and disclosures.”
Equinor has published a Sustainability Report which includes an explicit TCFD-aligned cross-reference table and an extensive discussion on portfolio resilience under different energy transition scenario.
- Instruct Company to Refrain from Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Activities in Certain Areas
Similarly, we believe that resolutions 10 to 14 lack a sufficient rationale in view of Equinor’s existing climate risk commitments. We consider that these proposals stray into micromanagement and are not in the best interest of shareholders. They are binding and prescriptive and seek the immediate cessation of existing business activities, decisions which we not believe to be the responsibility of shareholders to take.