On Eve Of Shareholder Meetings at ExxonMobil and Chevron, Global Investors Demanding Bolder Action on Climate Change
Public and faith-based investors representing over $1 trillion will urge oil & gas giants to live up to their stated visions as energy companies of the future by driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.
NEW YORK, NY, TUESDAY, MAY 26TH, 2015 – As members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron prepare to address management at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of these companies on Wednesday, May 27th their messages will focus on what they view as the biggest risk facing the company: climate change.
As the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions becomes more imperative due to the growing body of scientific evidence on the impacts of climate change, fossil fuel companies are facing increased scrutiny from policy-makers, investors and the public. This scrutiny has only intensified in recent months as world leaders prepare for the climate talks in Paris this fall, and faith communities around the world anticipate the imminent release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.
Institutional investors in Exxon and Chevron, two of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, have several climate-related proposals on the company proxies this year. Given impending climate regulation, investors argue greenhouse gas emissions pose serious and material risks to the long-term health of fossil fuel companies and have advocated for emissions reductions and increased investments in the development of more sustainable forms of energy production. Frustrated by what they view as slow and insufficient gains on these concerns, they will be expecting more meaningful commitments that indicate that the board and management of these companies aren’t resisting, but are responding to mounting calls for climate action.
“As a shareholder and long-term investor, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee believes it is in the best interest of the company and its long-term shareholders for ExxonMobil to examine its practices and develop goals to drive performance. We believe that clear greenhouse gas emission reduction goals will make Exxon more competitive and, in turn, protect shareholder value and address climate risk. Climate change poses real financial risks,” said Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce.
Members and allies of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of institutional investors that advocates for improved corporate environmental and social performance, will be on hand to present resolutions regarding the setting of GHG reduction targets and risk management protocols in natural gas production, among others. ICCR members have been engaging both ExxonMobil and Chevron for decades on these issues, pushing management to adapt its business to the new energy landscape.