ExxonMobil resists shareholder proposal on greenhouse gas emissions goals

Investor group led by the Sisters of St. Dominic

ExxonMobil is resisting a shareholder motion calling on it to adopt clear coals for cutting emissions.

The proposal was submitted by lead filer the Sisters of St. Dominic of New Jersey and requests the oil giant to adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from its products and operations. The Sisters are calling for a report to shareholders by November 30.

“ExxonMobil’s response to the severity of the climate crisis, as well as to investors’ seven-year request for GHG reduction goals in operations and products, has been wholly inadequate,” the proposal states.

Exxon is advising its shareholders to vote against the motion at its annual general meeting on May 28 in Dallas, saying it already provides “extensive public disclosure” on how it manages the risks of climate change via its submission to environmental data body the CDP [Carbon Disclosure Project].

“These CDP submissions have included business-specific goals such as improvements in refining and chemical manufacturing, energy efficiency, and reductions in upstream flaring,” the company says in its annual meeting agenda or proxy statement it adds it doesn’t believe that setting absolute goals is the most effective way to manage climate risks.

It follows engagement with Exxon by a range of investors seeking greater disclosure about its climate change assumptions and risks. Disappointment with the reports from the company has led the Christopher Reynolds Foundation to ask to speak on the issue at the forthcoming AGM, as reported by RI.

The meeting will also feature four other shareholder resolutions, all of which the company is resisting:

  • Majority vote for directors (proponent: United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Fund)
  • Limit directorships (Kenneth Steiner)
  • Amend equal employment opportunity policy (New York State Common Retirement Fund)
  • Report on lobbying (United Steelworkers)