Exxon Investors Amass to Back Climate Change Plan Board Opposes

Exxon Investors Amass to Back Climate Change Plan Board Opposes

The shareholder move seeks to push Exxon to publish an annual assessment on how the 2 degree Celsius global warming reduction target set by the Paris Agreement will affect its portfolio long term.

Almost 90 Exxon Mobil Corp. (IW 500/1) investors plan to back a proposal that would pressure the company to bolster its disclosure of climate change risks and opportunities.

The shareholders include the New York State and city pension funds and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to data compiled by investor advocacy group Ceres. Vanguard Group is considering voting for the proposal, Glenn Booraem, the firm’s investment stewardship officer, said on May 25.

The proposal will be taken up at Exxon’s annual meeting on May 31 in Dallas.

Environmentally focused shareholders are stepping up efforts to pressure companies on climate issues. A similar proposal at Exxon last year received about 38% support, the highest ever for a climate vote at the company.

Comparable initiatives at Occidental Petroleum Corp. and PPL Corp. have received majority support over management objections. BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, supported the proposal at Occidental.

BlackRock hasn’t yet made a decision on its Exxon vote, Zach Oleksiuk, head of Americas for BlackRock Investment Stewardship, said in an email Thursday.

Exxon opposes the proposal. Scott Silvestri, an Exxon spokesman, declined to comment further.

The shareholder move seeks to push Exxon to publish an annual assessment on how the 2 degree Celsius global warming reduction target set by the Paris Agreement will affect its portfolio long term.

Exxon is "really out of step with their peers around the world," said Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy at Ceres.

Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. are recommending shareholders override management and support the proposal.

By Emily Chasan

TAGS: Finance
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