Investor Advocates for Social Justice

Tri-CRI and Fellow Investors File with ExxonMobil and Chevron on Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

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As part of ongoing corporate engagement on climate change, the Tri-State Coalition led 47 investors, including state pension funds, faith-based investors, healthcare systems, foundations, and socially responsible asset managers, including 9 investor members of the Coalition, in filing a shareholder resolution with ExxonMobil urging the company to adopt greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for its operations and products.  The resolution comes on the heels of the IPCC’s most recent report, which warns of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” from climate change, as well as policy momentum from the historic joint announcement by China and the US on climate change.  The 400,00-strong People’s Climate March and Climate Week have added further momentum from social movements, everyday citizens, and investors, including a Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, signed by investors representing more than US $24 trillion in assets, including many Tri-State Coalition members.  The lead filer on the ExxonMobil resolution, Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ, the Tri-State Coalition and other investors believe Exxon’s lack of greenhouse gas reduction goals has contributed to the company’s poor climate performance, including a 3.7% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from upstream activities between 2011 and 2013, even as production fell by 6.1%.

Seeing inadequate reductions in emissions resulting from Chevron’s annual GHG target, investors identified an opportunity for Chevron to adopt more ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets.  Therefore, the Tri-State Coalition filed a new resolution with the company on the issue.  While Chevron was an early leader in the Oil and Gas Sector, establishing year-over-year greenhouse gas reduction goals, these goals have been disappointing. Indeed, Chevron’s 2014 greenhouse gas goal is 1.75% higher than 2013’s goal.  Investors are asking Chevron to once again demonstrate climate leadership and adopt ambitious goals in line with the internationally agreed upon 2 Degree limit for global warming.  This request is part of a broader initiative within the investor and business community pushing for Science Based Targets for corporations.  The initiative, led by CDP, the UN Global Compact, WRI, and WWF, provides guidance for companies on how to set and achieve GHG reduction goals in line with the 2 Degree target.

Investors have been engaged in ongoing dialogue with both companies and are hopeful that bringing the issue before the Board and all shareholders at the Annual Meeting will encourage more meaningful progress at this critical time for climate issues.

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