Climate Weekly: Shareholder climate activism 2.0

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Oil company AGM season is here again and awareness of climate risk is steadily trickling through the industry.

After a big win in 2017, when they voted to make US giant Exxon Mobil consider a 2C world, shareholder activists are getting into the nitty gritty.

Phase two is to pick over the analytical flaws and push the majors to embed a clean energy transition in their investment strategies. The approach is also rolling out to second-tier oil companies.

#Winning

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Seeing Redd(+)

People used to describe tropical forest protection as the “low-hanging fruit” of climate action, a cheap and easy way to prevent emissions. You don’t hear that so much these days.

As the latest standoff between DR Congo’s environment minister Amy Ambatobe and international donors – chiefly Norway – shows, it is actually really hard.

Ambatobe sees an easier win in awarding logging concessions than improving forest governance for aid money through Redd+ and the Central Africa Forest Initiative.

Nuclear family

The US may be generally uncooperative on climate change under Donald Trump, but his administration will deploy low carbon rhetoric when it suits.

At a clean energy ministerial in Copenhagen and Malmö this week, the US launched the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy (Nice) partnership with Canada, Japan and the UK.

“If the world is serious about reducing emissions and growing economies, then the ministerial must consider all options when it comes to carbon-free power, including clean, reliable nuclear energy,” blogged deputy energy secretary Dan Brouillette.

Number of the week

$20 trillion – the avoided damages of holding global warming to 1.5C compared to 2C, according to a study published in Nature

People’s climate case

Ten families from around the world and an indigenous Swedish youth group are taking EU institutions to court over the bloc’s 2030 climate target.

The EU needs to take stronger action to protect their human rights against the impacts of climate change, they will argue.

Reality check

The UN trade body has poured cold water on the industry’s hopes of a global shale gas boom.

Fracking may have transformed US’ oil and gas fortunes, but it is “highly unlikely” Europe will repeat the trick, it said in a report.

Basic fairness

Equity matters, environment ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China reminded the world after a summit last weekend.

In a joint statement, the group of emerging economies urged developed countries to lead climate action, expressing concern about “significant gaps” in pre-2020 action.

Read more on: Climate Politics