Victory for Climate Change Action at ExxonMobil

At ExxonMobil’s recent annual meeting, 62% of investors voted to require the energy giant to analyze and disclose climate change risks it faces, mirroring similar votes at Occidental Petroleum and PPL Corporation. These votes make clear that investors realize that climate change is a huge concern for energy companies, and in a historic shift they are now demanding oil companies provide more transparency and analysis of how climate change will impact assets.

This vote arrives at a vital time in light of President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Despite Trump’s choice, more than 1,100 businesses and 280 global investors (as well as some of Trump’s own team, like Secretary of State and former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson) publicly encouraged him to remain in the Paris Agreement. The change in investors’ attitudes towards climate change shows that corporations may increasingly be pressured to step up to the plate to address climate risks, and even to begin the transition to a low-carbon economy.

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