Exxon, traders huddle on local weather information as proxy deadline looms

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BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) traders, 5 months after profitable a landmark shareholder vote, are nonetheless urgent the corporate for an evaluation on how its enterprise may very well be affected by laws geared toward limiting local weather change.

The Exxon Mobil fuel station in Denver, Colorado United States July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The 2 sides have held discussions, and talks are persevering with forward of a mid-December deadline to arrange proxy resolutions for subsequent spring’s shareholder assembly, activists mentioned.

An Exxon spokesman mentioned it was assembly with traders however declined to debate specifics.

Numerous traders mentioned they have been searching for Exxon to present particulars comparable to these just lately really helpful by a local weather process pressure of the Monetary Stability Board. It instructed corporations lay out the impression they’d face from insurance policies like carbon pricing plans, or how adjustments in provide and demand for assets like oil would have an effect on their steadiness sheets.

“We’re hopeful that Exxon will take the chance to get in entrance of this and set new requirements by way of disclosure and transparency round local weather change,” mentioned Andrew Howard, head of sustainable analysis for asset supervisor Schroders, one of many filers of the decision which has since spoken with Exxon executives.

Spokespeople for the Church of England and for New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the lead sponsors of the Could decision, additionally confirmed they have been in talks with Exxon.

“Now we have an energetic engagement course of for environmental, social and governance issues,” mentioned Exxon spokesman Scott Silvestri, who declined to touch upon particular conferences with activists. Final yr, the corporate interacted with shareholders that held 1.1 billion shares, together with 40 p.c of its institutional holders, he mentioned.

In Could, Exxon Chief Govt Officer Darren Woods mentioned the world’s largest publicly-traded power firm would think about the difficulty after 62 p.c of shares voted on the assembly supported a non-binding name for an annual climate-impact evaluation.

Exxon faces a number of lawsuits, together with from New York and Massachusetts state attorneys basic, over the chance it misled the general public and traders concerning the dangers of local weather change. Exxon has denied the allegations and known as them politically motivated.

Requires corporations to reveal extra about how they are going to fare in a warming world obtained higher-than-usual ranges of assist at shareholder conferences this previous spring, typically with new backing from asset managers like BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) and Vanguard Group.

Occidental Petroleum Corp, (OXY.N) mentioned in a second quarter earnings presentation that it could present extra disclosure of “climate-related dangers and alternatives” after a majority of traders backed a name for such a report in Could.

Additionally, this month refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC.N) printed a report, “Views on Local weather-Associated Eventualities,” meant partly to handle recommendations from the Monetary Stability Board.

A shareholder measure calling for a climate-impact report obtained 41 p.c assist at Marathon’s annual assembly in April.

Some investor activists have a “wait and see” place on what Exxon could disclose. “It’s very unclear what Exxon goes to do” at this level, mentioned Danielle Fugere, president of shareholder advocate As You Sow. She mentioned the California group withdrew a decision forward of Exxon’s 2014 shareholder assembly calling for a local weather danger evaluation, solely to be disenchanted by the ensuing doc. Alternatively, have been Exxon to do nothing this time round, its administrators may face calls for his or her removing, Fugere mentioned.

Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston and by Gary McWilliams in Houston; Modifying by David Gregorio

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