Tri-CRI Launches Petition Asking ExxonMobil To Support the Paris Climate Talks
In support of Tri-CRI's shareholder resolution to ExxonMobil entitled "Acknowledge Moral Imperative to Limit Global Warming to 2°C," the Coalition has launched a public petition to Exxon asking the company to support the COP21 Paris Climate Negotiations set to begin at the end of this month.
As the petition notes, already, ten of ExxonMobil’s peers in the oil and gas industry, including Saudi Aramco, Total, Shell, Pemex, Statoil, and BP have issued a statement in support of the COP21 Negotiations, calling for “clear stable policy frameworks that are consistent with a 2°C future.” Yet ExxonMobil has remained silent.
Hours after the launch of the petition, the New York Times reported that the New York Attorney General is investigating ExxonMobil on whether it has defrauded its investors and the public. This official investigation makes meaningful action even more important. Shareholders and stakeholders must hold Exxon accountable, and we are concerned about what the findings of the investigation will indicate about their lapses. The Interfaith Coalition for Corporate Responsibility has no also officially responded to the Attorney General's investigation, noting "Over the years, ExxonMobil management has chosen to largely ignore investor warnings, its focus remaining fixed on pushing the limits of production and profits for as long as it is able, to the detriment of the long-term sustainability of the company and the planet."
We issue this petition in the hope that ExxonMobil will at long last heed the calls of its shareholders and the general public to constructively support solutions to the crisis of climate change, starting by supporting the Paris Climate Negotiations and signaling support for a 2°C future. As the petition notes, this is but the first step on a new path of corporate responsibility.
Faith-Based Investors Call on ExxonMobil to Acknowledge Moral Imperative of Climate Action
Faith-based investors, led by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ and other members of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, filed a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil on Thursday, October 22 entitled "Acknowledge Moral Imperative to Limit Global Warming to 2°C." This resolution builds on the growing understanding of what the impacts of climate change will be on the world’s poor and future generations, as well as creation, and calls on the company to acknowledge the need to mitigate unabated warming. Filers will be submitting their materials to the company in the coming weeks, and we anticipate that over 20 investors representing interfaith institutional investors and other investors will join this filing, which is rooted in the common recognition by the world's faith communities of "the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."
This resolution builds on the momentum around the moral imperative to address climate change, from the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home and many other faith statements on climate change, as well as the public sentiment that there is a moral imperative to act on climate change. In anticipation of COP21, we need companies demonstrating leadership and making bold statements and take action. The resolution focuses on the goal of limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels because it is believed that warming beyond this level could cause the worst impacts of climate change. As the resolution notes, the world's governments have agreed to work towards this goal since 2010. Warming beyond this level could trigger tipping points that produce irreversible warming and severe impacts.
Faith-based investors file this resolution one month ahead of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, which are expected to produce the first international climate agreement in which all nations commit to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In support of the negotiations, ten of ExxonMobil's peers in the oil and gas industry, including Saudi Aramco, Total, Shell, Pemex, and BP, have already issued a statement calling for "clear stable policy frameworks that are consistent with a 2°C future." All the while, ExxonMobil has remained silent, which not only presents reputational risk, but demonstrates that ExxonMobil may not be prepared for a low-carbon transition.
Now more than ever, as ExxonMobil faces increasedscrutiny for its role in funding campaigns of climate denial and misinformation, we urge the company to use its voice to support the goal of limiting warming to 2°C and support a strong outcome from the Paris negotiations.
Tri-CRI Joins Investors In Support of Legislation Requiring Disclosure and Corporate Action on Human Trafficking Risks
The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment is honored to join over 100 investors with over $1 trillion in assets under management in sending a statement to the US Senate and House of Representatives urging strong bi-partisan support for The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 (H.R. 3226/S.1968).
Tri-CRI Letter Calls on GE to Complete Cleanup of the Hudson River
On August 21, the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment sent a letter to General Electric urging the company to fully complete the cleanup of the Hudson River:
"As shareholders in GE, our Coalition has long been involved in encouraging our company to take full and complete responsibility for the contamination caused by the disposal into the Hudson River of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were used at the Fort Edward and Hudson Falls plants until 1977. In addition to our concerns about the impact of the PCB contamination and thorough cleanup on our company's long-term value, we raise these issues due tot he grave effects they have had on communities along the Hudson River, whose health and well-being have been negatively impacted, along with the economic vitality of the entire Hudson Valley region, ecosystem, and waterway."
Tri-CRI's letter adds to a growing chorus of calls from community and environmental stakeholders along the Hudson, including the Campaign for a Cleaner Hudson which hailed the Coalition's letter, as GE has begun to dismantle the Fort Edward PCB Processing Plant.
Although GE will soon complete the dredging required by a 2002 agreement between the Company and the EPA, as Tri-CRI's letter states "subsequent studies by the Federal Natural Resources Damages Trustees and EPA indicate that there is still much to be done." This echoes a letter from 25 New York state senators which notes with concern the "reports from federal, state and independent natural resource scientists indicating that significant PCB ‘hot spots’ will remain after the company’s dredging operations shut down later this year."
In light of these reports and the imminent end of GE's existing dredging activities, Tri-CRI's letter urges the company to "enter into a voluntary agreement with state and federal authorities to complete a more extensive cleanup and restoration of the 40 mile stretch in the Upper Hudson."
The letter notes with concern the financial, legal and reputational risks to GE of failing to take full responsibility for the cleanup of the Hudson. As quoted in the Albany Times Union, Tri-CRI member Cathy Rowan, coordinator of Corporate Responsibility for the Maryknoll Sisters, stated "We think it is important for other investors to know that GE is facing this [reputational] risk."
The full letter of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment to GE is available here.
Sister Pat Daly on Fox Business Discussing Laudato Si and Climate Change
Following the release of Pope Francis' Encyclical 'Laudato Si', Sister Pat was invited to speak on Fox News about climate change. In the interview below on the show Varney & Co., Sister Pat discusses the encyclical and the history of the work of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment with corporations on climate change.