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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The British asset management firm LGIM has thrown its weight behind activist investors' push to force Exxon into getting more aggressive on climate change.

Driving the news: LGIM, citing "persistent climate and governance concerns," yesterday endorsed the slate of board nominees from the investment group Engine No. 1.

Why it matters: The move puts more weight behind the campaign by Engine. No. 1 ahead of Exxon's May 26 shareholder meeting.

  • They already have backing from huge public employee pension funds in California and New York.
  • Reuters, citing Refinitiv data, puts LGIM's stake in Exxon at nearly $1 billion, while Bloomberg puts it at nearly $1.5 billion and calls them Exxon's 17th-largest shareholder.

The other side: Exxon has been taking new steps on climate, such as setting new emissions targets and proposing a major public-private partnership on carbon storage.

The intrigue: While Exxon's financial performance has been rocky in recent years and the pandemic compounded the problems, its stock value has nearly doubled over the last half-year."

  • While short-term performance, driven in large part by surging oil prices, may appease some investors, others believe serious questions remain over Exxon’s stated commitment to the United Nations’ Paris climate accord," Bloomberg notes.

Go deeper: The emerging frontiers of climate activism

Go deeper

The High Ambition Coalition's priorities for the Glasgow climate summit

Then-French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius, right, greets then-Marshall Islands' Foreign Affairs minister Tony de Brum in his office during the Paris climate summit in December 2015. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

A coalition to watch at the upcoming Glasgow climate summit is made up of some of the most at-risk countries to climate change that don't traditionally wield much power on the global stage, along with some other nations, like Norway, which have ambitious climate targets.

Why it matters: The power of these countries' moral authority on climate change — their very existence is threatened by sea level rise — helped them play a vital role in securing the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida SunSentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.