ExxonMobil investors call for lower GHG emissions

19 December 2018, Week 50, Issue 539

Institutional investors in US super-major ExxonMobil have said they will call for a reduction in the firm’s GHG emissions to bring the company in line with its competitors. 

Investors said they would file a shareholder resolution calling upon the Texas-headquartered firm, which is the world's largest oil company, to lower its emissions. 

The call is being led by ExxonMobil’s largest institutional investors, the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the Church of England's investment fund. It requests that ExxonMobil disclose its GHG reduction targets, covering emissions from both its operations and the use of its products, the Church Commissioners for England said in a statement. 

"We want to see ExxonMobil develop a clear strategy for long-term sustainability, in line with international commitments for a safer climate," said Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners. The firm has made progress in addressing the impact of climate change on its business over the past two years, but "has much more to do," Mason added. 

"Our request would bring ExxonMobil in line with its biggest European peer, [Royal Dutch] Shell, and we believe the board can and should support it," he added. 

"ExxonMobil’s lack of GHG emissions reduction targets puts it at odds with its industry peers that have taken such steps," said Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund. 

The resolution also asks the company to set short, medium and long-term GHG targets aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, as well as to make efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. 

It is expected to be the subject of a shareholder vote at ExxonMobil’s AGM next spring. 

A number of ExxonMobil’s other investors, such as HSBC Global Asset Management and the Presbyterian Church USA have also supported the resolution. 

ExxonMobil’s competitors such as Shell and France’s Total have already begun setting long-term emission reduction targets on the back of pressure from investors. 

Edited by

Anna Kachkova


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