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Dutch investor group targets oil, gas execs’ pay plans if climate goals fall short – Reuters

A flame burning natural gas is seen near the town of Mozyr, Belarus January 4, 2020. REUTERS//File Photo

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AMSTERDAM, April 1 (Reuters) – A group of Dutch investors managing assets worth nearly 1.5 trillion euros threatened on Friday to oppose oil and gas sector executives’ pay plans if their companies failed to set climate change goals in line with the Paris Agreement on global warming.

The institutional investors, including the asset management arms of insurers Aegon(AEGN.AS) and NN Group (NN.AS) and PGGM and MN Services, control 1.48 trillion euros ($1.64 trillion) in assets.

They said they expected the oil and gas sector to be “at the forefront of the (energy) transition” designed to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, and would use their voting rights to push for that, urging other shareholders to do the same.

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On Thursday Climate Action 100+ (CA100+), the biggest investor group pushing for corporate action, said the heaviest-emitting companies had yet align their businesses with the Paris goals, and that it also expected shareholders to ramp up pressure for action. read more

The Dutch investor group said it expected oil and gas companies to set targets to reduce their own and their suppliers’ and customers’ carbon dioxide emissions, and show how their capital allocation plan supported their strategy by 2024.

It would “consider using escalation actions” over climate change strategies not in line with Paris, including voting against executive pay plans that did not link pay to performance on climate goals.

The group added that it expected all companies it invested in to take the steps necessary to limit global warming, and that its benchmarks aligned with those of CA100+ and the International Energy Agency.

CA100+ said on Thursday that only 17% of the largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters had set medium-term targets in line with meeting the goal of capping warming at 1.5 degrees. read more

It has itself come under fire from environmental campaigners for not pushing companies to do more.

“Severe climate events are escalating far faster than investors are escalating their engagement with heavy emitters,” said Guillaume Pottier, Stewardship Campaigner with Friends of the Earth France affiliate Reclaim Finance.

($1 = 0.9047 euros)

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Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by John Stonestreet

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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