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Report Back From AGMs: Investors Press CEO to Acknowledge Climate Risks

Shareholder proposals to adopt Greenhouse Gas reduction goals were put forward at Exxon Mobil and Chevron on May 27th.  The proposal at Exxon received 9.6% of the vote in support and at Chevron received 9% in support. Proponents are disappointed by this result, particularly given the urgency of action to address climate change and the regulatory and financial risks posed by unmitigated emissions.

Shareholder Comments at the Exxon Annual Meeting raised the “moral & religious imperative for humanity” on the company to set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, citing support from interfaith leaders across the globe and the anticipated encyclical from Pope Francis on the environment.  State Treasurer of Vermont, Beth Pearce said that in order to succeed in the long-term, Exxon must adapt to operate in a carbon-constrained economy. During the Q & A, shareholders noted the absence of discussion of climate change in the opening remarks, asked CEO Rex Tillerson about the scale of investments in renewables, about the “Plan B” to respond to climate change and whether the company would publicly call for a price on carbon at the Paris treaty negotiations.

Other climate change resolutions received stronger support, with preliminary results:

At Exxon Mobil

Item 4 – Independent Chairman . . . . . . 33.8% FOR 66.2% against

Item 5 – Proxy Access Bylaw . . . . . . . . . 49.4% FOR 50.6% against

Item 6 – Climate Expert on Board . . . . . .  21% FOR 79% against

Item 7 – Board Quota for Women . . . . . . 4.3% FOR 95.7% against

Item 8 – Report on Compensation for Women . . . . 5.8% FOR 94.2 Against

Item 9 – Report on Lobbying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21% FOR 79% against

Item 10 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goals . . . . . . 9.6% FOR 90.4 Against

Item 11 – Report on Hydraulic Fracturing . . . . . . . 24.9% FOR 75.1% Against

At Chevron

Item 5: Report on Lobbying. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28% FOR

Item 6: Cease Using Corporate Funds

for Political Purposes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4% FOR

Item 7: Adopt a Dividend Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4% FOR

Item 8: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goals. . . . . . . . .9% FOR

Item 9: Report on Shale Energy Operations. . . . . . . 27% FOR

Item 10: Proxy Access Bylaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55% FOR

Item 11: Independent Chairman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% FOR

Item 12: Independent Director with

Environmental Expertise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20% FOR

Press on the meeting

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/27/exxonmobil-boss-environment-nun-friar-dallas-meeting-rex-tillerson-activist-shareholders?CMP=share_btn_tw

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060019157

http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/exxon-wont-fake-it-on-climate-change-views-ceo-says?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&__lsa=1e6c-9be9

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/business_models/caitlin_kauffman/investors_call_exxonmobil_chevron_stop_resisting_tra

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/05/27/business/ap-us-exxon-mobil-shareholders.html

 
On Eve Of Shareholder Meetings at ExxonMobil and Chevron, Global Investors Demanding Bolder Action on Climate Change

Press Release

Public and faith-based investors representing over $1 trillion will urge oil & gas giants to live up to their stated visions as energy companies of the future by driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.

NEW YORK, NY, TUESDAY, MAY 26TH, 2015 – As members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron prepare to address management at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of these companies on Wednesday, May 27th their messages will focus on what they view as the biggest risk facing the company: climate change.

As the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions becomes more imperative due to the growing body of scientific evidence on the impacts of climate change, fossil fuel companies are facing increased scrutiny from policy-makers, investors and the public. This scrutiny has only intensified in recent months as world leaders prepare for the climate talks in Paris this fall, and faith communities around the world anticipate the imminent release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment.

Institutional investors in Exxon and Chevron, two of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, have several climate-related proposals on the company proxies this year. Given impending climate regulation, investors argue greenhouse gas emissions pose serious and material risks to the long-term health of fossil fuel companies and have advocated for emissions reductions and increased investments in the development of more sustainable forms of energy production. Frustrated by what they view as slow and insufficient gains on these concerns, they will be expecting more meaningful commitments that indicate that the board and management of these companies aren’t resisting, but are responding to mounting calls for climate action.

“As a shareholder and long-term investor, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee believes it is in the best interest of the company and its long-term shareholders for ExxonMobil to examine its practices and develop goals to drive performance. We believe that clear greenhouse gas emission reduction goals will make Exxon more competitive and, in turn, protect shareholder value and address climate risk. Climate change poses real financial risks,” said Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce.

Members and allies of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of institutional investors that advocates for improved corporate environmental and social performance, will be on hand to present resolutions regarding the setting of GHG reduction targets and risk management protocols in natural gas production, among others. ICCR members have been engaging both ExxonMobil and Chevron for decades on these issues, pushing management to adapt its business to the new energy landscape.

Read more...
 
Tri-CRI Launches Proxy Voting Declaration Platform for Exxon and Chevron GHG Goal Resolutions

The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have organized a process for asset owners and fund managers to declare their intention to vote in support of the shareholder proposals to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals ahead of the Exxon Mobil and Chevron Annual General Meetings, both on May 27th.  The goal is to amplify the voice of long-term investors in the run-up to the shareholder meeting.

The declarations will be gathered until May 26th and will be made public in stages.  Visit www.investorclimatedeclarations.org for more information and to publicly declare support for either or both of these resolutions.

At the time of the launch on May 6, the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Vermont Pension Investment Committee, and investors with over $68 Billion in Assets Under Management have declared their support for at least one of these two shareholder proposals:

As long-term asset owners and fund managers that are also supporters of corporate planning for climate change, we believe the companies would be well-served by establishing GHG emission reduction goals for their products and operations. These goals will drive innovation in the companies’ business models and allow Exxon Mobil and Chevron to be competitively positioned to succeed and thrive in a carbon-constrained economy.

 
Invitation: 40th Anniversary Special Event

Please Join Us on May 18th for the Tri-State Coalition's 40th Anniversary Special Event!

Purchase Tickets Online Here

See Formal Invitation Here

 


 
Tri-CRI Commends Walmart for Raising Wages

Tri-State CRI joins colleagues at ICCR in recognizing Walmart's progress on workers' wages:

NEW YORK, NY – Thursday, February 19, 2015 – Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and shareholders of Walmart were heartened by Walmart’s announcement today of measures it is taking to improve both wages and opportunities for advancement for its 1.3 million U.S. employees.

ICCR members who have long engaged the company on employee wage and benefit issues are hopeful that, as the world’s largest employer, Walmart’s announcement will send a strong signal of the importance of raising wages for U.S. workers. The shareholder coalition has engaged companies in a range of sectors, including agriculture, apparel, consumer goods, restaurant, and technology on similar issues throughout their global supply chains.

According to the package of changes the company announced today, Walmart has committed to increasing its base pay rate to $9/hr. in all markets and to raising its current associates’ wages to $10 an hour or higher by early next year. For reference, the current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr. In addition the company is reforming how schedules are developed for its Associates and investing in capacity-building programs that will provide internal advancement opportunities.

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