Media release

Shareholder resolution can help steer Equinor towards Paris

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility​ (ACCR) is responding to the announcement of a shareholder resolution filed at Equinor ASA by a group of institutional investors led by Sarasin and Partners LLP (Sarasin).

Sarasin is co-lead of the Climate Action 100+ initiative’s collaborative engagement with Equinor.

The resolution, which is supported by a co-filing group responsible for $US 270 billion of assets under management, asks Equinor to:

  • update its strategy and capital expenditure plans to align with the Paris Agreement
  • specify how any plans for new oil and gas reserve development are consistent with the Paris Agreement goals.

The co-filing group is:

  • Sarasin & Partners LLP (UK investment manager)
  • Sampension (Danish pension scheme)
  • West Yorkshire Pension Fund (UK pension scheme)
  • Achmea Investment Management (Dutch investment manager)

Equinor’s board has recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal.

Commenting on the resolution filed by Sarasin, Martin Norman, Investor Engagement Lead, ACCR, said:

ACCR’s research has shown there is a clear pathway for Equinor to move towards Paris alignment in a way that makes immediate and ongoing commercial sense for the company.

“Our analysis contradicts Equinor’s claims that ongoing oil and gas exploration supports the energy transition. We instead find exploration reduces Equinor’s the capital available for the energy transition in the next two decades, and increases the risk of fossil fuel lock-in post-2050.

“Investors should be especially concerned that Equinor’s international production is high emissions, high cost and comes with no guarantee of value accretion. By halting global exploration, and the development of pre-FID projects outside of the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the company can take concrete steps towards lowering its emissions with minimal risk for investors.

“In light of this, the resolution filed at Equinor by Sarasin, if supported by investors, is an encouraging step forward that helps protect shareholder value and move Equinor towards longer-term Paris alignment.

“If Equinor adopts ACCR’s recommendations, the company can avoid 67% of the emissions from its unapproved projects, delivering the bulk of the request contained within Sarasin’s resolution.”


ACCR’s report, “Equinor’s challenge: which way to Paris?”, examines the company’s oil and gas exploration activities, which Equinor says are needed to support the energy transition.

It suggests four key changes for Equinor to reduce emissions “in line with the Paris Agreement”. The first two are particularly commercially pragmatic recommendations, would avoid 67% of the emissions associated with Equinor’s unapproved projects, and are the focus of the research in the report.

  • Stopping exploration of new oil and gas reserves worldwide
  • Halting development of pre-FID fossil fuel projects outside of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

For Equinor to become fully Paris-aligned, it would also have to:

  • stop developing Norwegian fossil fuel projects
  • develop a strategy around winding down operating assets.

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