Academics demand climate change resolutions from ExxonMobil and Chevron

More than 1,000 professors have sent an open letter to ExxonMobil and Chevron’s shareholders demanding climate change resolutions. The academics from more than 40 universities are urging the companies to do […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

More than 1,000 professors have sent an open letter to ExxonMobil and Chevron’s shareholders demanding climate change resolutions.

The academics from more than 40 universities are urging the companies to do so at their annual general meetings later this month.

Positive Investment, an international coalition of students, academics and staff concerned about ethical investment, proposed nine resolutions.

They include adding a board member with environmental expertise, returning capital to shareholders to avoid stranded assets and reporting annually how they minimise the impact of fracking.

Among the academics who signed the letter, which has been sent to the 20 biggest shareholders of each company, include Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change and Lord Martin Rees of the University of Cambridge.

In a letter they said: “Given the commitments made by governments to limit global warming to ‘well below 2°C with an ambition for 1.5°C’ and also these two companies’ historical neglect of the issue of climate change, we call on the top 20 shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron and on the world’s largest voting advisory companies, to join us in our support for these resolutions.

“Financially, we are concerned that Exxon Mobil and Chevron are exposing shareholders to significant climate risk and perhaps even more importantly, climate-related systemic risk. Ethically, we are concerned about corporate lobbying, burying climate science and investing in ‘unburnable’ reserves – all spuriously justified as being in the interest of shareholder value.”

ExxonMobil has also been urged to disclose climate change impacts on its business.