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State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The money manager behind New York's public pension fund, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, is leading the charge urging more action on climate change within ExxonMobil and other publicly traded companies.

Why it matters: The investment community is becoming an alternative battleground between corporations as U.S. government policy on climate change retreats under President Trump.

Where it stands: New York's fund and Church of England's endowment have filed a non-binding but symbolically significant resolution for consideration at Exxon's annual meeting in May, calling for the company to disclose targets drastically reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The oil giant has asked the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which governs the process, to throw it out. A decision is expected imminently.

One level deeper: Here are edited excerpts of my recent interview with DiNapoli for my latest Harder Line column.

Axios: Would you ever consider divesting your shares — about 0.25% of all outstanding Exxon shares — if the company doesn't act in the way you're calling for?

"We do that rarely and not without very significant deliberation … Having a voice at the table, trying to press them to do the right thing, that in the short run I still think is a smarter strategy. Longer term, we're going to keep a close eye on how Exxon behaves in response to our calls. … I'm sure they would love us to sell our shares so we wouldn’t be at the table anymore pressing them."

Axios: What's your reaction to Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — the largest in the world — divesting from some oil companies, those focused just on exploring and producing?

"Some people have argued, 'look at Norway, they're pulling out of all of this.' They're not really. It's a lot more nuanced and complex than divestment advocates recognize or are willing to admit. … You can't lose sight of the fact that while we certainly want companies to do the right thing on climate change, at the end of the day we have to produce returns that support retirement benefits of 1.1 million New Yorkers."

What's next: DiNapoli will receive a report from an advisory panel this month recommending ways to make the fund he manages — more than $200 billion — greener.

Go deeper

GOP operatives accused of funneling Russian cash to Trump

Jesse Benton, spokesman for the Ron Paul campaign, speaking to reporters in the spin room after the CNN Debate on January 1, 2012. Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images

A former senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Rand Paul was indicted this month for allegedly funneling $25,000 from a wealthy, unnamed Russian to former President Trump's reelection efforts.

The big picture: The Justice Department alleges that Jesse Benton, 43, the husband of Paul's niece and a veteran Republican staffer, orchestrated a scheme to conceal the illegal foreign donation with another GOP operative, Doug Wead.

Biden to raise refugee admissions cap to 125,000

Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden administration will raise the refugee admissions cap to 125,000 for the next fiscal year beginning in October, the State Department confirmed in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The move comes as the U.S. contends with resettling tens of thousands of Afghan refugees stateside, and as the world faces "unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs," the department wrote.

Wall Street's wobble disrupts record stock market boom

People walk by the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Monday interrupted a stretch of calm amid the historic stock market boom underway since March 2020.

Driving the news: Jitters were apparent nearly everywhere.

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