FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Investors file motion after oil sands producer quietly removed greenhouse gas target from its public reporting
April 2, 2019 – Shareholders of Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSE:CVE) will vote on a proposal requesting that the Canadian oil and gas company sets and publishes targets aligned with the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global average temperature increase to well below two degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels.
The Fonds de Solidarité FTQ development capital organization worked with the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) to file the proposal, which will be put to a vote at the Cenovus 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 24 at 1pm Mountain Time.
The demand comes amid growing investor concern about climate change and the need to transition Canada’s economy towards a low-carbon future. The oil and gas industry has a critical role in this transition and will require a substantial reduction in emissions. It is Canada’s highest emitting sector and responsible for 26 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as the largest contributor to Canada’s methane emissions.
Cenovus, one of Canada’s largest oil producers with substantial oil sands assets, has not made clear how it plans to reduce its emissions in an increasingly carbon constrained environment.
“Cenovus’ disclosure on climate-related targets has been inconsistent,” said Gosset. “In 2017, the company published a GHG emissions intensity reduction target of 33 percent by 2026 in its Corporate Responsibility Report However, this target quietly disappeared in the company’s disclosures in 2018, with no explanation, and no mention of any climate-related targets for performance.”
Following the release of influential guidance on climate-related disclosures in 2017 from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), there has been an increased focus on getting companies to adopt targets to manage their climate-related risks.
“Without a target, investors are left to wonder whether the company taken the necessary and appropriate steps to address its climate related risks before it’s too late,” said Gosset.
The Fonds de Solidarité has also co-filed a similar proposal at ExxonMobil this year. That proposal is currently being challenged by Exxon at the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
Read the proxy alert here:
About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
Since 2000, the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) has built a community of values-driven investors who are committed to amplifying their voices in support of a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. SHARE is the leading non-profit investor voice on human rights and responsible investment in Canada, representing a growing network of institutional investors with more than $23 billion in assets under management. SHARE provides proxy voting analysis, shareholder engagement, education, policy advocacy, and practical research on issues related to responsible investment. SHARE’s clients include pension funds, mutual funds, foundations, faith-based organizations and asset managers across Canada.
Notes for Editors
Interviews available with Laura Gosset, Senior Shareholder Engagement and Policy Analyst
Damon van der Linde
 International agreement adopted in December 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change