ConocoPhillips – Report on Developing Sources of Renewable Energy (2007)
Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn
Whereas: Due to the international requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, ConocoPhillips is facing unprecedented pressure to reduce emissions and meet clean energy demands, and growing public pressure to make significant emissions reductions.
To avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, experts believe that we must hold CO2 emissions at or near 2004 levels for the next 50 years. Some governments are implementing ambitious reduction targets, driving the demand for renewables. For example, California and New Mexico have plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from 75 to 80% by 2050; the U.K., 60% by 2050. Thirty-eight states, provinces or countries have adopted renewable portfolio standards, and 49 countries have adopted targets for the electricity share provided by renewable sources.
In July 2006, the E.U. overwhelmingly approved a jet fuel tax on flights within member nations, which could potentially reduce demand.
Failure to reduce operational emissions, or to offer low-carbon products may result in the purchase of expensive carbon credits even as competitors are generating new revenue sources through the sale of excess credits.
Renewables are the fastest growing segment of the energy market. In the past ten years, wind energy worldwide has grown by around 28% per annum. President Bush said that wind energy could provide 20% of the country’s electricity supply. In 2006, US photovoltaic installations grew by 20% over 2005, among the highest growth rates in the world due to new federal and state programs to stimulate demand.
Two of our main international competitors, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have significant renewable energy divisions. Shell is investing US $500,000 – $1 billion in new energy technologies over a five-year period. BP has been in the solar business since 2002, realizing its first profit in 2004 and currently enjoying a 20% worldwide market share. It plans to invest $8 billion in alternative and renewable energy businesses over a 10-year period.
Today’s 10,000 MW of wind power used in the U.S. displaces the equivalent of 3.5% of the natural gas used nationwide to generate electricity.
The Department of Energy estimates that by 2015, U.S. photovoltaic capacity will displace the emission of 10 million metric tons per year of CO2 emissions.
Resolved: Shareholders request the Board to prepare a report (at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information) by September 1, 2007 explaining how the company will respond to rising regulatory, competitive and public pressure to significantly develop renewable energy sources.
Shareholder Supporting Statement
ConocoPhillips’ Baseline Sustainable Development Report states – “We plan to continue to develop technology options with the potential to enable renewable energy and in particular, renewable fuels.” Yet the company’s portfolio currently includes no investments in renewable energy projects, nor has our company told investors how it intends to meet growing regulatory pressures for renewable energy. Supporting this resolution will indicate shareholder desire for full disclosure of the company’s strategy to meet growing demand for diversified energy sources and to remain competitive in increasingly carbon-constrained energy markets.