ExxonMobil investors ask the company to disclose its greenhouse emissions targets

2 of ExxonMobil’s largest investors are urging the oil giant to disclose its short-term and long-term goals for cutting its greenhouse emissions.


April 2, 2019

The Church of England and the New York public pension fund are urging ExxonMobil to reveal its goals for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2 entities, which are among Exxon’s largest investors, have filed a resolution for consideration at Exxon’s yearly meeting in May.

Of course, the oil giant has asked the SEC to throw it out

The pending resolution, which was initially proposed in December, calls for Exxon to disclose its short-, medium- and long-term goals for slashing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement.

Surprise, surprise, Exxon argued via letter that the SEC should omit the resolution, citing the proposal’s vagueness and intent to micromanage corporate affairs.

According to Axios, the SEC will most likely grant Exxon’s request, since the commission allowed Devon Energy to exclude almost an identical resolution last month — it too pulled the autonomy card.

If anyone can make it happen, it’s these 2 vigilante investors

The Church of England and New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (who manages the New York fund) have been successful emissions watchdogs in the past.

In 2017, the dynamic duo urged Exxon to disclose the risks climate regulations pose to its bottom line (Exxon issued the report last year). The church has also worked to persuade other fossil-fuel giants like BP and Shell to take action on climate change as well.

This time, other investors are on board: A group representing roughly 10% of the entire world’s investment dollars — that’s $9.5T of managed assets — sent a letter last month to the SEC supporting the resolution.

Investors to the rescue

As the US government defers to President Trump on all things climate change, investors are taking it upon themselves to keep publicly traded companies honest when it comes to their carbon footprint.

Resolutions brought to the table by shareholders are more symbolic than anything. But, companies usually budge if they get more than 50% support from investors during the proposal voting process.

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