Editor’s Edition: How far can green activists push big oil?

Green activists have scored a string of victories against the largest oil and gas companies as massive institutional investors like BlackRock throw their weight behind efforts to address carbon risk.

Activists have shook up ExxonMobil’s board of directors, and pressed Chevron to spell out how it would do business in a zero emissions world. Both companies have publicly acknowledged the pressure they’ve recently faced. An Exxon executive likened the situation to a tidal wave. Meanwhile, Chevron’s CEO announced the company may offload its investment in Canada’s oil sands.

Tom Rand, managing partner at ArcTern Ventures, told Yahoo Finance Canada that Exxon’s new board members will likely spark awkward conversations about climate change that may help dismantle the “old boy’s club” mentality that persists in big oil. He sees firms like BlackRock leveling the playing field in what has for years been a David and Goliath-type fight.

Rand also discusses trends in the carbon offset market, and United Airlines’ plan to buy supersonic jets that burn eco-friendly fuel from a company called Boom Supersonic.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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