Exxon Mobil Takes Legal Action Against Climate Change Proposal Initiated by Shareholders

New York City, NY – Exxon Mobil Corporation has filed a lawsuit against investors advocating for a climate proposal aimed at fostering transparency and accountability. The company asserts that the proposal, raised during the annual shareholder meeting, should be excluded from being put to a vote. This move by Exxon reflects its steadfast opposition to increasing efforts that demand more disclosure regarding climate change risks.

Exxon stated that the proposal goes against Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and the company’s own policies. Furthermore, the oil giant claims that the proposal is “vague and misleading,” failing to outline a clear course of action. As a result, Exxon is requesting a declaratory judgment to prevent the proposal from being included in the proxy materials distributed to shareholders.

The investors who introduced the proposal include BNP Paribas Asset Management, the Church of England Pensions Board, and the New York State Common Retirement Fund. They argue that Exxon has not adequately disclosed its strategy to tackle climate change and transition to low-carbon energy sources. The proposal calls for the integration of climate change-related lobbying activities and emissions reduction targets into Exxon’s business plans.

The lawsuit comes amidst increasing pressure on Exxon and other fossil fuel companies to align their operations with the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement. Environmental activists and investors have been urging companies to address climate risks and make sustainable investments. They argue that the failure to address these issues could harm shareholder value and expose companies to potential legal liabilities.

Exxon’s legal action follows the dismissal of a similar lawsuit filed by the New York state attorney general in December 2019. The lawsuit accused Exxon of misleading investors regarding the potential financial risks posed by climate change. While the court ruled in favor of Exxon, the case highlighted the growing concerns surrounding the energy giant’s approach to climate change and its potential impact on shareholders.

This lawsuit reflects the ongoing battle between fossil fuel companies and investors pushing for greater accountability in environmental matters. As the transition to a low-carbon economy gains momentum, it is expected that the pressure will continue to mount on companies like Exxon to address climate risks and be more transparent about their operations.

Exxon’s decision to legally challenge the investors’ proposal underscores the divide between those advocating for increased climate action and companies that heavily rely on fossil fuels. The outcome of this lawsuit will likely have significant implications for Exxon and its response to climate change concerns moving forward.