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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

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