Investor Advocates for Social Justice

Sister Patricia Daly to ExxonMobil: Get on board with Paris goals (Responsible Investor)

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From Responsible Investor (link)

Shareholders are encouraged to support the ‘moral imperative’ resolution on May 25

by Sister Patricia Daly | May 10th, 2016

Will climate change impact everyone the same way? What will happen to low-lying populations and vulnerable peoples if warming exceeds 2°C? Are these impacts fair? Mitigating climate change has been called the moral imperative of our generation. But what is our role as responsible investors to address this challenge?

Amid this new moment, with Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ presenting a framework for our coexistence with the planet, stating that “the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all,” and the Paris Agreement providing a goal of limiting warming to 2°C or less for the global community to work toward, ExxonMobil investors put the question before the company – must you acknowledge the moral imperative to limit warming to 2°C? Must you recognize this global goal to protect our planet and the people living on it? On May 25th, shareholders of ExxonMobil will have the opportunity to call on their company to join the rest of the world in acknowledging the imperative to keep warming to safe levels by supporting Item 11 on the proxy.

This resolution has striking applicability to ExxonMobil. This is even more appropriate this year amid questions of Exxon’s liability, or at least poor integrity, related to its knowledge about the climate impacts of its core business practices. ExxonMobil is the subject of investigations from multiple state Attorneys General for poor disclosure to investors and the public on what it knew about climate change, and is facing intense public scrutiny for its role in interfering with climate action. This is not only historic action: even in 2015, ExxonMobil spent $27million on staff, communications, lobbying, and trade associations to undermine policy action on climate change. This strategy has succeeded in keeping the policy agenda on climate change stalled for decades.

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