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2017-05-31 14:11:02
Exxon Mobil Shareholders Call for Accounting of Climate Rules

A majority of Exxon Mobil’s shareholders, in a reversal, have voted in favor of more open and detailed analyses of the risks posed to its business by policies aimed at stemming climate change.

Those policies include the goal of the Paris climate agreement to restrict global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Preliminary results announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday put the results at 62.3 percent in favor, up from the 38 percent a similar resolution garnered last year.

The resolution, which the company’s directors opposed, is nonbinding. But Darren W. Woods, the chief executive, said the board would consider the result because it reflected the view of a majority of shareholders.

Investors and groups concerned about climate change submitted similar proposals in the last few years, but the company resisted those efforts.

Increasingly, though, Wall Street and large investors, including fund managers like BlackRock, have signaled concerns about the risks to companies whose assets were based in fossil fuels that could potentially lose significant value as climate policies and market forces reduce demand.

Three years ago, a group of investors withdrew a similar resolution after Exxon agreed to report details of the risks that stricter limits on carbon emissions would place on its business, becoming the first oil and gas producer to do so. But that report lacked the detail that the resolution’s proponents were seeking.

This year, the resolution was led by the New York State Pension Fund and the Church of England investment fund and included dozens of backers like the New York City Retirement Systems and California Public Employees’ Retirement System.