Following Setbacks, Climate Activists Rethink Their Approach
Climate-focused shareholder activists have scored only a few victories in their efforts to push oil giants to adopt cleaner business strategies. and The annual shareholder meetings of Exxon Mobil and Chevron, scheduled for Wednesday, are set to be largely sedate, as they will be held virtually. But their European rivals had raucous meetings last week, with environmental protesters storming the stage at Shells gathering and clashing with tear-gas-wielding police outside Totals. Despite the drama, however, climate-focused shareholder activists are being forced to rethink their approach, two years after the tiny hedge fund won a stunning victory over Exxon, Vivienne Walt writes for DealBook. That string of disappointing results is forcing a reckoning at some of the sectors biggest players: In June, were going to revisit our strategy, and think about whats next for the coming years, Mark van Baal, the founder of the shareholder activist group Follow This, told DealBook. And it comes despite major investors backing shareholder activists efforts: Norways $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, for instance, has on climate issues on the ballot at Exxon and Chevron. how to convince investors to prioritize long-term climate risks over booming oil profits. Last year was the year the empire struck back, according to Mr. van Baal, as oil giants successfully argued that energy crises during a time of inflation, war and a post-pandemic travel boom trumped the climate crisis. So far, many demands from climate groups for the industry to decarbonize have only garnered about 20 percent approval from shareholders. Mr. Van Baal outlined the following strategy: Stay invested in the oil giants, to keep voting for climate resolutions. Widen impact by putting pressure on investment banks and insurers that enable oil and gas projects. Take more legal actions, building on in the Netherlands, where a judge instructed Shell to accelerate its energy transition, and include tougher emissions standards in its targets. (That has drawbacks: The strategy is expensive and could take years to play out in the courts. Its also less likely to succeed in the United States, where conservatives are pushing back against so-called environmental, social and corporate governance measures.) and many say change is needed. Ive been in the climate movement for 15 years, and I get a sense of desperation, said Mark Raven of 350.org, an international climate activist group, some of whose members participated in last weeks protests. In particular, he added, Younger activists are unhappy with things that have gone before. On Wednesday, DealBook will examine why activists have felt so dejected since Engine No. 1s victory. The disgraced founder of the blood-testing start-up Theranos is scheduled to for defrauding investors. She is expected to report to a that accommodates family visits. More than 350 executives, researchers and engineers working in A.I. signed onto a set for release on Tuesday calling for mitigating the risks of A.I., which they say are on par with nuclear war and pandemics. Signatories include Sam Altman of OpenAI and Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind. The lira after the incumbent president prevailed in a runoff, extending his rule into a third decade. Among investors worries is that Turkey will maintain a monetary policy that focuses on growth and exports instead of reducing inflation, with Erdogan arguing that raising interest rates increases inflation. Retailers are in talks with government ministers on , according to The Guardian, in response to the that has plagued Europe. Meanwhile, heres an argument for why a in the grocery industry is behind in the United States. The debt-ceiling deal reached over the holiday weekend must still survive a gauntlet of congressional votes. But investors are already declaring mission accomplished as S&P 500 futures and Treasury bills advance on Tuesday. The House could vote on the agreement as soon as Wednesday, though it must first get through the chambers powerful Rules Committee. which economists gave : in exchange for pushing future debt-ceiling discussions beyond the 2024 elections. An end to the Biden administrations freeze on student loan payments. Stricter work requirements for public assistance programs, including food stamps, though Medicaid wont be affected. ( from both sides of the aisle.) A streamlined approval process for energy projects known as permitting through the creation of a single agency to oversee the matter. The deal also includes approval for a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline through West Virginia, a win for Senator Joe Manchin. included in the bill are any major commitments to reduce the $31.4 trillion national debt. But The Times calculates that nondiscretionary spending cuts could save $860 billion over the next decade, and the reductions on the economy. But some Republican members of the Rules Committee have already come out . (One, Representative Chip Roy of Texas, has argued that all nine of the committees Republicans must before the panel.) There are hurdles in the Senate as well, with Republicans including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah objecting to the bill and threatening delays. As of last Thursday, the Treasury Departments cash balance was at a of less than $39 billion. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen now reckons that the government will on June 5. Private gigs privates, in music industry lingo are seemingly popping up everywhere, from charity galas in Manhattan to luxury hotel openings in the Persian Gulf. Bankrolled by the ultrarich and companies, these intimate star-studded performances are off-limits to the general public. The private has become a reliable moneymaker for both chart-toppers and performers well past their prime, Evan Osnos writes in an entertaining, in The New Yorker that opens with Flo Rida, the rapper, playing a bar mitzvah in Lincolnshire, an affluent Chicago suburb. For years, the world of privates was dominated by aging crooners, a category known delicately as nostalgia performers. Jacqueline Sabec, an entertainment lawyer in San Francisco, who has negotiated many private-gig contracts, told me, Artists used to say no to these all the time, because they just werent cool. But misgivings have receded dramatically. In January, Beyonce did her first show in more than four years not in a stadium of screaming fans but at a new hotel in Dubai, earning a reported $24 million for an hourlong set. with Jennifer Lopez, Maroon 5 and Eric Clapton all agreeing to them. Even younger artists dont fear any stigma from what one agent said is ultimately a situation where its a convention or a party, and you just happen to be making noise at one end of it. But some continue to resist, Mr. Osnos writes, including Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and, for reasons that nobody can quite clarify, AC/DC. It isnt just about the debt-ceiling deal: Markets will be looking at jobs, inflation data and corporate earnings. Heres what to watch. Consumer price index data for Germany, Italy and France, important gauges for inflation in the European Union, is scheduled for release. Salesforce, Crowdstrike and C3.ai report quarterly results. Earnings from Dollar General, Macys and Lululemon will provide a snapshot of consumer buying power. Its jobs day. The Labor Department is set to publish the final nonfarm payrolls report before the Feds June rate-setting meeting. Economists polled by Reuters that employers added 193,000 jobs last month. The investment firms Francisco Partners and TPG have reportedly to buy New Relic, a business software company. (Reuters) Richard Branson and the Nikola founder Trevor Milton were among the company insiders and early investors in SPACs who before their companies stock prices tumbled. (WSJ) Inside the legal fight , one of Wall Streets most successful independent investment banks. (FT) Why Are Markets So Calm? Its . (WSJ) Its not just gamers: Antitrust regulators considering Microsofts merger with Activision are also . (WSJ) The U.S. reached with 13 other countries in the Indo-Pacific region in an effort to limit their dependence on China. (NYT) Pandemic-era policies helped , but that reduction in inequality now appears in danger as the threat from the coronavirus recedes. (Politico) Business leaders to Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis (FT) How to navigate the . (WSJ) The advertising giant WPP has teamed with Nvidia to to speed up the creation of ad campaigns for its clients. (FT) Speaking of Nvidia: The chip maker is on the verge of . (Reuters) Wed like your feedback! Please email thoughts and suggestions to . is a columnist and the founder and editor at large of DealBook. He is a co-anchor of CNBCs "Squawk Box" and the author of Too Big to Fail. He is also a co-creator of the Showtime drama series "Billions." joined the The Times in 2022 as a senior editor for DealBook. Previously he was a senior writer and editor at Fortune focusing on business, the economy and the markets. is a senior staff editor for DealBook and the author of Gigged, a book about workers in the gig economy. Michael de la Merced joined The Times as a reporter in 2006, covering Wall Street and finance. Among his main coverage areas are mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies and the private equity industry. joined The Times from CNBC in 2020, covering deals and the biggest stories on Wall Street. reports from Washington on the intersection of business and policy for DealBook. Previously, she was a senior reporter at Quartz, covering law and politics, and has practiced law in the public and private sectors.