In wake of flawed SEC decision siding with Exxon, investors weigh other options to address oil giant’s massive climate risk exposuresCeres
The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to grant Exxon’s request to block a joint shareholder proposal on climate risk “is flawed and inconsistent,” said Andrew Logan, senior director of oil and gas at the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres,” adding that it “only deepens the fissures between Exxon and its investors, who remain undaunted in their efforts to engage the company on climate.”
The proposal, co-filed by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and the Church of England, calls on Exxon to disclose its plans for setting greenhouse gas emissions targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Exxon appealed to the SEC to prevent the resolution from being voted on at its annual meeting, while investors representing $9.5 trillion in assets — many of them engaged via Climate Action 100+ — wrote to the SEC urging the agency to allow the proposal to go to a vote.
“While the shareholder resolution process is a powerful tool to drive change, it is by no means the only one available to investors. Exxon’s shareholders, including the investors with nearly $10 trillion in collective assets who urged the SEC to dismiss the company’s appeal, will continue to push for change at Exxon and across the oil and gas sector — making full use of their suite of rights as shareholders. Contrary to the SEC’s incorrect determination that the resolution amounted to micromanagement, what shareholders are really looking for is large-scale realignment of the company’s business plan to address climate-related risks. The agency’s flawed ruling does nothing to stem the tide that has brought climate risk into the financial mainstream, nor does it change the reality that oil and gas companies must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to a carbon-constrained world.”All Press Releases