Norway-based energy company Equinor announced today that it will ask shareholders to vote on its climate strategy, becoming one of the first energy companies to do so.

Last week, energy giant Shell became the first in the industry to present its energy transition plan to shareholders for a vote. The announcements by Shell and Equinor mark a significant step forward on climate transparency and accountability, bringing them in line with a emerging movement among companies and investors to include shareholders in corporate sustainability plans. 

Equinor stated that it will submit its energy transition plan for advisory vote to shareholders at its Annual General Meeting, beginning in 2022, and expects to update the plan every three years for an advisory vote, with progress on the plan to be reported annually.

Anders Opedal, CEO and President in Equinor, said:

“Equinor aims to be a leading company in the energy transition. We believe the plan will allow for more active engagement and collaboration when preparing for future opportunities.”

In November 2020, Equinor announced its plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050, including both emissions from production and final consumption of energy. While the company expects to deliver an average annual oil and gas production growth of around 3 percent through 2026, the company is preparing for an expected gradual decline in global demand for oil and gas from around 2030 onwards. In the longer term, Equinor expects to produce less oil and gas than today.

The company has also announced a new set of biodiversity commitments, including the establishment of voluntary exclusion zones for its activities, and a pledge to develop a net-positive approach towards biodiversity in new Equinor-operated development projects located in protected areas or areas of high biodiversity value.

Jon Erik Reinhardsen, Chair of the Board of Directors of Equinor said:

“Sustainability has been integrated into Equinor’s strategy and business model for decades, but with the energy transition plan we will invite shareholders to get an even more holistic overview on progress and performance.”