Exxon Mobil to disclose climate change risks

Exxon Mobil to disclose climate change risks
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Exxon Mobil Corp. has agreed to regularly disclose analyses of the impacts to its business from climate change and policies meant to fight it.

The decision, disclosed late Monday in a report to shareholders, answers calls from activists and certain shareholders, led by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, to make such projections public.

The disclosures from the nation’s biggest oil and natural gas company are likely to at least somewhat head off future shareholder votes demanding climate-related transparency.

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“The board [of directors] has decided to further enhance the company’s disclosures consistent with the ... proposal and will seek to issue these disclosures in the near future,” Exxon Mobil said in the securities filing.

“These enhancements will include energy demand sensitivities, implications of two degree Celsius scenarios, and positioning for a lower-carbon future.”

Two degree Celsius refers to the widespread consensus “tipping point” goal for limiting global warming when compared to the global average temperature before industrialization.

The filing came three days before the deadline for shareholders to submit proposals for Exxon Mobil's annual meeting.

Some shareholders have for years pushed climate-related resolutions, and Exxon Mobil has usually opposed them.

Thomas DiNapoli, who as New York state’s comptroller oversees its retirement fund, applauded the move.

“ExxonMobil's adoption of greater climate analysis is a win for shareholders and for the company's ability to manage risk,” he said in a statement.

“Exxon's decision demonstrates that investors have the power to hold corporations accountable and to compel them to address our very real climate-related concerns.”