Report Back From AGMs: Investors Press CEO to Acknowledge Climate Risks
Shareholder proposals to adopt Greenhouse Gas reduction goals were put forward at Exxon Mobil and Chevron on May 27th. The proposal at Exxon received 9.6% of the vote in support and at Chevron received 9% in support. Proponents are disappointed by this result, particularly given the urgency of action to address climate change and the regulatory and financial risks posed by unmitigated emissions.
Shareholder Comments at the Exxon Annual Meeting raised the “moral & religious imperative for humanity” on the company to set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, citing support from interfaith leaders across the globe and the anticipated encyclical from Pope Francis on the environment. State Treasurer of Vermont, Beth Pearce said that in order to succeed in the long-term, Exxon must adapt to operate in a carbon-constrained economy. During the Q & A, shareholders noted the absence of discussion of climate change in the opening remarks, asked CEO Rex Tillerson about the scale of investments in renewables, about the “Plan B” to respond to climate change and whether the company would publicly call for a price on carbon at the Paris treaty negotiations.
Other climate change resolutions received stronger support, with preliminary results: