56% of investors ask oil and gas producer for specific climate-related targets aligned with the Paris Agreement
April 30, 2020 – Ovintiv Inc. announced preliminary vote results at its AGM today showing 56% shareholder approval for a resolution filed by the Pension Plan of the United Church of Canada, supported by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE).
The shareholder proposal sought disclosure from Ovintiv regarding climate-related targets that address medium and long-term climate related risks and opportunities, and that align the company’s objectives with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“This vote result is a clear indication that responsible investors are looking to the long term. The message from shareholders was clear: in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shock, companies need to plan for a climate transition, or plan to lose value,” said SHARE CEO Kevin Thomas.
“The climate-related risks that oil and gas companies and their shareholders face in the wake of a shift towards a net-zero GHG emissions economy have been put on full display due to recent global events.”
SHARE and the Pension Plan of the United Church of Canada filed this shareholder proposal at Ovintiv because the company has not made clear how it plans to reduce its emissions and manage its climate-related risks in an increasingly carbon-constrained environment.
“The pandemic has put the challenges we face in the climate emergency into stark relief. Coming out the pandemic, we will be looking to accelerate the transition to a green economy. I am thrilled to have received overwhelming shareholder support at Ovintiv,” said Thomas.
Unlike many of its peers, Ovintiv has not disclosed any climate-related targets, resulting in uncertainty for investors about how climate-related risks are being managed.
“The company has an opportunity to be a leader in its sector by setting ambitious climate-related targets across its entire operations,” said Mitchell Anderson, Pension Plan of the United Church of Canada board member.
SHARE’s proxy advisory, including the text of the resolution, are available at: https://share.ca/proxy-alert-2020-ovintic-climate-targets/
About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
Since 2000, 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. SHARE’s clients include pension funds, mutual funds, foundations, faith-based organizations and asset managers across Canada.
Damon van der Linde
Shareholder Association for Research and Education