CIEL Comment on ExxonMobil Shareholder Victory over Climate Resolution

May 31, 2017

Today, ExxonMobil shareholders voted 62% to approve a climate resolution in defiance of the company’s management. It requires Exxon to begin reporting climate-related risks to its business.

Lisa Anne Hamilton, CIEL Climate & Energy Program Director, released the following statement: 

Today’s shareholder victory demonstrates that while ExxonMobil management may try to evade accountability for its contributions to climate change, shareholders aren’t letting the company off the hook. Shareholders have demanded that Exxon assess and disclose how the company will survive in a world where global temperature rise is limited to less than 2-degrees Celsius.

This is a win for smart investors who refuse to allow climate denial policies to drive their investment decisions. Carbon transition risk is real, it is material, and it is accelerating. More than 190 countries have committed to implementing the Paris Agreement by reducing their carbon emissions. Regulations that respond to climate risk are toppling long-held assumptions that fossil fuel consumption can continue to grow unfettered. The global transition to a low carbon economy is already creating new technological, regulatory, and physical challenges and opportunities in nearly every area of the economy. Companies and markets are responding worldwide; and companies that fail to adapt should and will be left behind. Shareholders deserve to know if companies have positioned themselves to withstand such profound changes and remain profitable.