A representative of CBIS attended ExxonMobil’s Annual shareholder meeting on May 25 in Dallas, TX, and addressed the board and CEO regarding its environmental stewardship policies. CBIS has been engaging with ExxonMobil on climate issues for the past 15 years. This year, CBIS co-filed a shareholder resolution along with ICCR members. The resolution, led by Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ, received a preliminary vote of 18.5%.
“This is a strong result for a first time resolution,” said Julie Tanner, Director of Catholic Responsible Investing at CBIS. “With four billion shares outstanding, the fact that nearly 20% of all voting shares supported the proposal is an accomplishment,” she said. “The vote exceeded our expectations and allowed us to speak in support of communities that may be among the first impacted from the potential negative effects of climate change.”
The resolution asked ExxonMobil’s board to adopt a policy acknowledging the imperative to limit global average temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The request is in line with the Paris Accord and calls from Pope Francis in Laudato Si, which seeks global action to protect the environment, including special attention to the poorest populations.
The meeting, dominated by resolutions on climate change following the Paris accord to curb fossil fuel emissions, was widely regarded as its most contentious. Shareholder resolutions on climate change up for a vote included those filed by ICCR members, the Church of England, and the pension funds of California, New York City, and New York State. “The next step is to have a discussion with the company,” said Tanner. “We hope that Exxon will move to address shareholder concerns in light of the support for greater transparency on and action to address climate change.”