ExxonMobil Shareholders’ Push for Emissions Targets Shows Investors Want Climate Action, Not Platitudes

Statement by Kathy Mulvey, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Dec 17, 2018

WASHINGTON (December 17, 2018)—Following the close of international climate talks in Poland, ExxonMobil investors filed a resolution calling on the company to set and disclose carbon emissions reduction targets for its products and operations in line with Paris Agreement temperature goals. The resolution, spearheaded by the New York State Comptroller and the Church of England and supported by CalPERS, HSBC Global Asset Management and others, is the first of its kind at the nation’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company. In recent weeks, investors have filed similar resolutions at BP and Royal Dutch Shell, and Shell announced a commitment to set short-term goals to reduce its carbon footprint and link executive compensation to progress toward achieving those goals. The resolution reflects growing investor impatience with ExxonMobil’s empty words on climate action, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Kathy Mulvey, fossil fuel accountability campaign director at UCS.

“Investors aren’t buying ExxonMobil’s recent public relations charm offensive, and it’s easy to see why. The company hasn’t set short-, medium- or long-term targets for reducing emissions or directed its trade associations and lobby groups to stop opposing climate policies, including the recently defeated carbon tax in Washington state. As recent climate science assessments have made clear, fossil fuel companies must rapidly and dramatically slash global warming emissions if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change—such as inundated coasts, prolonged droughts, dangerous heat waves, and more frequent severe storms. Scientists, elected leaders and communities around the world are demanding immediate action and investors are giving ExxonMobil a clear directive on what the company needs to do.”