Exxon Feels the Heat

Executives at ExxonMobil must be growing more anxious as the annual general meeting on May 25th approaches.

Investigations into Exxon's alleged knowledge and intentional cover-up of data directly linking the burning of fossil fuels to climate change are being mounted by 17 State's Attorney Generals, including New York, Massachusetts and California. And recently, the SEC decided in favor of investors by directing the company to allow seven shareholder-sponsored climate resolutions to appear on the company proxy. Included in this group of resolutions are calls for greater disclosure of lobbying activities that may be tied to the types of climate change denial campaigns currently under investigation, as well as a call for board expertise on environmental issues and a resolution asking that the company acknowledge the "moral imperative of limiting global warming to 2 celsius", the threshold participants at the COP21 climate talks agreed could not be exceeded if we are to safeguard our planet's future. Another resolution asks that the company assess the risks of their carbon assets within the context of this carbon-constrained future. A full list, including text, of this year's resolutions at Exxon and other companies is available on our public website

The SEC’s decision is a victory for investor sponsors and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility who have pressed Exxon for decades to adapt its business to address the dire impacts of climate change on global communities.

"This puts before shareholders the question of Exxon's operation and their strategies and the impact of what they do to society,"  said Mary Beth Gallagher of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. "It is a threshold moment to consider the company's role in society."

Taken together, these resolutions illustrate the mounting urgency responsible investors are feeling to curb dangerous GHG emissions, and a growing frustration with Exxon's willful denial of its role and responsibilities in the crisis. We are strongly urging all investors to support these proposals as they can in the hope that this year's annual general meeting will produce a more favorable response on climate from Exxon management.

Said Sr. Patricia Daly, OP of the Sisters of St. Dominicof Caldwell, NJ and lead proponent of the moral resolution:

"As people of faith attempt to respond to the needs of the world, it is critical and timely that our call for ExxonMobil to acknowledge the moral imperative of limiting global warming to 2˚C will go to their shareholders for consideration. ExxonMobil and its shareholders now face a choice: acknowledge the untold suffering that climate change will cause and work towards solutions, or remain willfully blind to the impacts of their ‘business as usual’ approach.”

The investors issued a press release on March 24 and are planning to attend and speak at Exxon's May 25th AGM.


"Spring Awakening: Uniting Against Climate Change", from Capital & Main 

"Rockefeller Family Fund to Divest from Exxon Holdings", from International Daily Newswire 

"New Documents Reveal Oil Industry Knew of Climate Risks Decades Earlier" from Center for International Environmental Law 

"Exxon Must Hold Vote on Climate Change Shareholder Resolution, SEC Says" from Inside Climate News

"C02's Role in Global Warming has Been on the Industry Radar Since the 1960s" from Inside Climate News


"Smoke and Fumes", from Center for International Environmental Law 


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