Investor Advocates for Social Justice

Faith-Based Investors Call on ExxonMobil to Acknowledge Moral Imperative of Climate Action

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Faith-based investors, led by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ and other members of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, filed a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil on Thursday, October 22 entitled “Acknowledge Moral Imperative to Limit Global Warming to 2°C.” This resolution builds on the growing understanding of what the impacts of climate change will be on the world’s poor and future generations, as well as creation, and calls on the company to acknowledge the need to mitigate unabated warming. Filers will be submitting their materials to the company in the coming weeks, and we anticipate that over 20 investors representing interfaith institutional investors and other investors will join this filing, which is rooted in the common recognition by the world’s faith communities of “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

This resolution builds on the momentum around the moral imperative to address climate change, from the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home and many other faith statements on climate change, as well as the public sentiment that there is a moral imperative to act on climate change. In anticipation of COP21, we need companies demonstrating leadership and making bold statements and take action. The resolution focuses on the goal of limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels because it is believed that warming beyond this level could cause the worst impacts of climate change. As the resolution notes, the world’s governments have agreed to work towards this goal since 2010. Warming beyond this level could trigger tipping points that produce irreversible warming and severe impacts.

Faith-based investors file this resolution one month ahead of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, which are expected to produce the first international climate agreement in which all nations commit to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In support of the negotiations, ten of ExxonMobil’s peers in the oil and gas industry, including Saudi Aramco, Total, Shell, Pemex, and BP, have already issued a statement calling for “clear stable policy frameworks that are consistent with a 2°C future.” All the while, ExxonMobil has remained silent, which not only presents reputational risk, but demonstrates that ExxonMobil may not be prepared for a low-carbon transition.

Now more than ever, as ExxonMobil faces increased scrutiny for its role in funding campaigns of climate denial and misinformation, we urge the company to use its voice to support the goal of limiting warming to 2°C and support a strong outcome from the Paris negotiations.

Full text of the Resolution available here

Selected Faith Statements on Climate Change:

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