Shareholder Presses ExxonMobil On Climate Action
A large institutional shareholder has sold shares in US major ExxonMobil, saying the oil and gas giant is failing to address climate change, reports said June 21.
One of the company’s largest shareholders, Legal & General Group has divested 19 of its funds from Exxon and will ask its clients if it can withdraw more money, Bloomberg reports. The investor is not selling its shares in competitors including Chevron and Shell because it says they meet its basic standards on climate change action.
Earlier this year Shell announced concrete targets to cut its carbon footprint as part of an agreement with activist shareholders. The likes of BP, Equinor and Chevron have also been pushed into more urgent action on climate change by investors.
Divestment is a way to “hold Exxon accountable for something that’s really material for their future,” said Meryam Omi, head of sustainability at Legal & General Investment Management, which oversees more than $1 trillion. “People in the street who have their own pension that’s going to mature in 30 years time don’t get a chance to talk to Exxon themselves.”
Several other companies are “on the cusp” of divestment when it comes to climate action, Bloomberg reports. However, two companies Legal & General withdrew capital from last year, Occidental Petroleum and Dominion Energy, will be added back to the funds because they have addressed concerns raised, suggesting that ExxonMobil too might reappear on the list.