Thursday, June 1, 2017

Shareholders order Exxon to open up on climate risks

The landmark investor vote defied Exxon's management. It requires the oil giant to begin reporting climate-related risks to its business.

Exxon holds its shareholder meeting
Photo Credit: Karen Bleier/Getty Images
Marianne Lavelle reports for Inside Climate News:
ExxonMobil shareholders voted Wednesday to require the world's largest oil and gas company to report on the impacts of climate change to its business—defying management, and marking a milestone in a 28-year effort by activist investors.
Sixty-two percent of shareholders voted for Exxon to begin producing an annual report that explains how the company will be affected by global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement. The analysis should address the financial risks the company faces as nations slash fossil fuel use in an effort to prevent worldwide temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
Last year, 38 percent of Exxon shareholders supported essentially the same measure, which at the time was a record.
The vote at Exxon shows the rapid erosion of support for the company's defiant stance on climate disclosure, and it caps a shareholder meeting season that saw unprecedented support for greater corporate disclosure on climate change. In recent weeks, shareholders voted in favor of climate risk analysis at two other major energy companies, Occidental Petroleum and PPL, Pennsylvania's largest utility. Climate-related shareholder resolutions also garnered record support at other big U.S. utilities that rely on fossil fuels: Dominion Resources (47.8%), Duke Energy (46.4%) and DTE Energy (45%).
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