London CNN –

The world’s largest publicly traded investor wants ExxonMobil and Chevron to do more to combat the climate crisis.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which holds $1.4 trillion in total assets, said Friday it would back calls for U.S. oil companies to set more aggressive emissions reduction targets.

It said it would support proposals put forward by climate activist group Follow This at the companies’ annual shareholder meetings next Wednesday. ExxonMobil and Chevron (CVKS) have called on shareholders to reject them.

Follow This has called on the companies, along with European oil majors BP ( BP ), Shell ( RDSA ) and TotalEnergies ( TOT ), to set more ambitious targets to reduce their “scope 3” emissions by the end of the decade. Those emissions include greenhouse gases emitted when consumers use their products, such as gasoline, jet fuel and natural gas.

The group says the revised targets would better align companies with the Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Mark van Baal, founder of Follow This, told CNN the Norwegian fund had a “huge responsibility,” adding that it was surprising it had not taken similar action against European energy companies at their shareholder meetings.

“Basically, they’re saying to Shell, BP and Total: You don’t have to cut your emissions this decade.” We expect that they will correct this omission next year,” he said.

The fund did not vote with activists against BP and Shell at their latest annual shareholder meetings held last month and last week, respectively.

Carine Smith Ihenacho, the fund’s chief corporate governance officer, told the Financial Times on Friday that “Both BP and Shell have a good volume of 3 goals, they have good transition plans.”

The fund also intended to vote with TotalEnergies against the activist scope 3 proposal at the French company’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday, it said on its website.

French riot police detained several hundred climate protesters who were trying to prevent TotalEnergies shareholders from attending a meeting in Paris, Reuters reported.

ExxonMobil, which has not set “scope 3” targets, said in a letter to shareholders last month that such targets would encourage oil and gas companies to divest their assets, reducing the supply of products “that society needs”.

“Make no mistake, we are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the company said.

Chevron aims to cut carbon emissions by 5% over the next five years from a 2016 baseline, a target that covers “zone 3” emissions, but has urged shareholders to reject the activists’ proposals.

The proposal would “require a reduction in Chevron’s operations,” the company said in a letter to shareholders last month.

ExxonMobil and Chevron did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the voting intentions of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is funded by the country’s vast oil and gas revenues. It owns shares in more than 9,200 companies in 63 countries, with a total equity stake of $790 billion.

It has a 0.86% stake in Chevron and a 1.13% stake in ExxonMobil, according to the fund’s most recent filings.

In its statement on Friday, the fund also said it was calling on Chevron CEO Mike Wirth and ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods to resign as chairman of the companies’ boards because it believed the top roles should be filled by two different people.

“The board should exercise objective judgment on corporate affairs and be able to make decisions independently of management,” the fund said on its website.

By Editor