The fight to cut corporate greenhouse gas emissions has intensified, as shareholders and governments have begun to directly target the top oil companies, demanding emission cuts.
On Wednesday, a Dutch court had ruled that the Royal Dutch Shell's emission targets were insufficient, ordering them to cut their carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels, a much more significant rate the company had originally anticipated.
The same day, ExxonMobil shareholders supported a small activist hedge fund and successfully elected two new candidates to their board. The new board members would call for annual reports on climate and other initiatives.
These moves follow the actions governments around the world are taking in order to accelerate decarbonization. Wednesday represented a breakthrough day in oil history as the new votes and orders signal a sense of urgency.
Oil companies are now facing an even more intense dilemma where the transition to clean, renewable fuels is becoming a growing priority, but the demand for the hydrocarbons they produce remains high.