CA+100 co-lead targets Chevron directors over climate lobbying
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath), the $24bn pension fund for the United Methodist church and a co-lead at CA+100 , has urged shareholders to vote against the re-lection of Wanda Austin and Enrique Hernandez Jr. as directors.
The pension fund accused them of failing to provide “proper governance over the company’s management of climate change-related lobbying activities”.
Both are currently chairs of the firm’s Public Policy Committee and are standing for re-election at Chevron’s AGM on 31th of May.
The energy giant has faced a significant shareholder rebellion in 2020, when a majority of investors voted to require the firm to adopt new climate-related lobbying disclosures.
But despite investor pressure for increased accountability, the energy giant has challenged a de-facto ban on fracking in California with a law suit just last year. It remains one of the highest spenders on fossil fuel lobbying and has continued to oppose new restrictions on oil and gas extraction and methane gas emissions in the US, the think tank Influence Map revealed.
In a statement, Wespath said that the directors had failed to ensure that the company provided a “meaningful response to the shareholder resolution” and “failed to address the risks from misalignment between the company’s lobbying practices and its stated support of the Paris Agreement” the pension fund criticised.
It also accused Chevron of failure to comply with the majority of best practice assessment criteria in the Climate Action 100+ Benchmark.
Chevron is classed as a high risk investment by ESG ratings firm Sustainalytics and ranks 68 out of a universe of 291 oil and gas producers.
The biggest shareholders in Chevron are Berkshire Hathaway and index fund providers Vanguard, Blackrock and State Street, who each hold between 8 and 7% of overall shares.