chapter  10
20 Pages

'Why Don't Oil Companies Commit to "Green Technologies?"' - A Corporate Constraints Interpretation

Jerome Davis ‘As sole trustee of the nation’s second largest public pension fund, it is my fiduciary responsibility to consider all long-term investment risks including those associated with the proliferation of greenhouse gases,’ Alan Hevesi, Comptroller, State of New York and Sole Trustee of New York Common Retirement Fund (Millam, 2004). Introduction: Corporate CEOs Confront their Shareholders With few exceptions, the oil industry has not been enthusiastic about compliance with the strictures of the Kyoto Protocol on Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Yet, in spite of this lack of enthusiasm, there are signs of change, in part imposed by major shareholder activisim in conjunction with corporate Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Major institutional investors, for example, are becoming increasingly concerned about the super majors’ future stance on the issues of greenhouse gasses and commitment to renewables technologies, those technologies which emit no carbon dioxide in their generation of energy (windmills, fuel cells, geothermal energy, solar, and solar electrical (photovoltaics)).2 This has been reflected in the increasing number of GHG-related proxy resolutions, essentially amendments to the corporate management Annual Report proposals, proposed by shareholders (and in the US) cleared by the Security and Exchange Commission.. While none of

1 Special thanks are due to Tora Skodvin (Oslo University) for her advice in dealing with

this topic. The author would also like to thank colleagues from a Roskilde University 2004 technology policy seminar for their useful comments on earlier versions of this paper.