A campaign has been launched to corral investor support for shareholder proposals on specific greenhouse gas emissions targets at ExxonMobil and Chevron, the US oil majors who both hold their AGMs on May 27 on what could prove a ‘red-letter day’ for responsible investors.
The US-based Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, the Catholic institutional investor group, and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have organized a process for asset owners and fund managers to declare their intention to vote in support of the proposals, which call for time-bound, quantitative GHG reduction targets. Investors can use this SurveyMonkey site to make their declarations.
The declarations will be gathered until May 26 and will be made public in stages on a dedicated website . A similar proposal last year at Exxon gained 22% shareholder support.
The initiative hopes to build on the momentum of the ‘Aiming for A’ coalition on climate resilience at BP and Royal Dutch Shell – and CCLA, the fund manager who helped drive that has already signed up for the US campaign, as has Sweden’s Sjunde AP-fonden (AP7).
The organisers say they have support from investors with as much as $114bn (€101bn) in assets, including dozens of ICCR members, the $29.4bn Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and the $4bn Vermont Pension Investment Committee (VPIC).Further support comes from US-based sustainable asset managers Zevin, Walden and the Christian Brothers. For their part, Chevron and Exxon are urging shareholders to reject the proposals.
“We’re encouraged by the way shareholders united in support of Aiming for A.”
Acting Tri-State Coalition Director Mary Beth Gallagher said gaining a majority for the proposals would be difficult. But she told RI: “We’re encouraged by the way shareholders united in support of the Aiming for A resolution at BP. And we are hoping to build on that momentum to demonstrate a broad group of investors believe Chevron and Exxon Mobil must address the challenge of climate change by establishing reduction goals.”
The VPIC, which is supporting the resolution at Exxon, added: “We believe that clear greenhouse gas emission reduction goals will make Exxon more competitive and in turn protect shareholder value and address climate risk.”
The three biggest shareholders in both Exxon and Chevron are the US-based asset management giants BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard.