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Vehicles refueling at an Exxon Mobil Corp. gas station in Houston, Texas, in October 2020. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Exxon is pledging more board additions ahead of a showdown with activist investors pressing for more aggressive moves on climate change and capital discipline on oil development.

Why it matters: The move comes just ahead of Wednesday's annual meeting, when shareholders will vote on whether to approve four board members nominated by the investment group Engine No. 1.

Driving the news: The company said that over the next 12 months it would add two new members, "one with energy industry experience and one with climate experience."

  • The May 23 shareholder communication was disclosed in this filing Monday.
  • The letter, which also touts recent board additions, says the company's capital allocation strategies, cost cuts and expanded climate efforts mean it's "positioned for success."

The other side: "If ExxonMobil’s Board is sincere in its desire to add more relevant experience, then it can wait to see what the outcome of this election is," Engine No. 1 said in a statement.

What they're saying: Andrew Logan, of the sustainable investment advocacy group Ceres, tells Reuters that Exxon's move is aimed at swaying major investors including BlackRock and Vanguard ahead of the vote.

Go deeper: The showdown over Exxon's climate future is here

Go deeper

Updated Aug 9, 2021 - Energy & Environment

UN report: Effects of climate change even more severe than we thought

A wildfire burns in a forest over the village of Gouves, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Global warming is happening so fast that scientists now say we'll cross a crucial temperature threshold as early as 2030 — up to a decade sooner than previously thought — according to a sweeping new UN-sponsored review of climate science published Monday.

The big picture: Atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher in 2019 than at any time in at least 2 million years, and the past 50 years saw the fastest temperature increases in at least 2,000 years, according to the new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.