Exxon shareholders reject climate proposals

Exxon shareholders reject climate proposals
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Shareholders of Exxon Mobil Corp. voted down Wednesday a series of proposals for the company to embrace the fight against climate change, but approved one that could eventually lead to a climate expert sitting on the board.

Activist investors have tried for years to push climate resolutions through the annual meetings of Exxon and other major oil companies, reasoning that it could push them to transition away from fossil fuels.

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The Dallas meeting came as Exxon is under international pressure and state investigations about allegations that it lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change.

Investors rejected 10 proposals, including ones to put a climate change expert on Exxon’s board, endorse last year’s Paris climate agreement and require an annual report on how climate change impacts the company’s operations, according to Reuters.

But the shareholders did approve one resolution that could lead to a climate expert getting on the company’s board. Under that resolution, minority shareholders can nominate outside experts to sit on the board, which activists hope to use to get a representative elected.

Exxon’s management opposed all the proposals and asked shareholders to vote against them.

CEO Rex Tillerson said the company agrees with the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and humans contribute, and it backs the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The reality is there is no alternative energy source known on the planet or available today to replace the prevalence of fossil fuels in the global economy,” he said at the meeting, according to The Houston Chronicle. “The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.”

Later Wednesday, shareholders are due to vote on similar proposals at Chevron Corp.’s annual meeting.