May 30, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Exxon and Chevron shareholders turn back climate push

In this image, a man walks underneath an Exxon sign at a gas station.

An Exxon gas station in New York. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Resolutions pushing ExxonMobil and Chevron to get more aggressive on climate change were soundly defeated at annual shareholder meetings on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The meetings were the latest example of growing investor pressure on oil giants over global warming.

Where it stands: At Exxon's meeting, a resolution calling for a new board committee on climate won just 7.4% support.

  • A separate measure partly about climate, calling for a report on the risks of expanding Gulf Coast petrochemical operations, drew 25% support.
  • At Chevron's meeting, roughly 92% opposed a measure to create a new board committee on climate. About 67% opposed a resolution calling for a report on cutting emissions "in alignment" with the Paris agreement.

But, but, but: One Exxon measure that climate advocates saw as a proxy for their concerns, a resolution to create an independent board chairman, got 41% support, an uptick from last year.

What they're saying: Exxon chairman and CEO Darren Woods recently "spoke at length about the steps Exxon was taking to address the threat of climate change, including support for research into new technologies that could eventually help to curb greenhouse gas emissions, including biofuels derived from algae and the capture and storage of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants," the Financial Times reports.

Go deeper: Exxon and Chevron to face investor pressure to do more on climate

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