Exxon shareholders reject climate proposals - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Regulation  -  May 26, 2016

Exxon Mobil shareholders reject climate proposals; broader support for more disclosure swells

Shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corp. reportedly rejected a series of resolutions related to climate change May 25 as broader support for more disclosure from U.S. businesses regarding their carbon emissions and other related risks continues to gain traction. 

One of the shareholder resolutions at Exxon would have resulted in increased disclosure around the oil production giant's exposure to risk related to a global shift away from fossil fuels. Others would have required the company to add a climate change expert to its board, publish an annual report on the subject and pursue policies that limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a report from NPR news. 

Shareholders of Chevron Corp. rejected a similar set of resolutions on the same day, though according to The Wall Street Journal, support for a resolution that called for "stress tests" to determine the risk that efforts to combat climate change pose to their businesses garnered more support than many expected. 

The WSJ reported

Despite the defeat, the proposals drew more support than any contested climate-related votes in the history of the two biggest U.S. oil and gas companies. Preliminary results showed 41% support from Chevron investors that cast ballots and 38% support at Exxon, an indication that more mainstream shareholders like pension funds, sovereign-wealth funds and asset managers are starting to take more seriously the threat of a global weaning from fossil fuels.

Exxon Mobil had tried to keep the climate-risk related proposal off its proxy, though the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March rejected its argument to do so. 

Separately,  the Obama administration on May 25 proposed a rule for public comment that would drive greater disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risk data among the government’s supply chain of contractors and vendors.

The White House wrote in a blog post

It’s the responsible thing to do to take steps to understand the sustainability – and challenges – associated with your supply chain; and that’s especially true when you’re the Federal Government and that supply chain exceeds $400 billion per year. Today’s action does just that.

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