Responding to a shareholder request, Exxon Mobil Corp. has agreed to evaluate and disclose the viability of its portfolio under the 2-degrees scenario, the concept of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.
The shareholder proposal, filed by the $345.1 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, $201.3 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, among other investors, was supported by 62.3% of shareholders at Exxon's annual meeting May 31, up from the 38.2% support it received last year.
The oil and gas company originally recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal. However, in a Monday letter to Patrick Doherty, director of corporate governance for New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Jeffrey J. Woodbury, Exxon Mobil vice president, investor relations and secretary, said that the company sought input from a number of parties, including the proposal's proponents and major shareholders, in reconsidering the proposal. Mr. DiNapoli is sole trustee of the Common Retirement Fund.
Mr. Woodbury also wrote that other enhancements to the company's climate change reporting will include energy demand sensitivities and positioning for a lower-carbon future. How soon that information will be disclosed could not immediately be learned.
As a result of Exxon's agreement to enhance its climate change reporting, the pension fund is withdrawing its shareholder proposal, which it refiled on Nov. 28.
Other shareholders that supported the proposal at Exxon's 2017 meeting were the $219.6 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $170.6 billion New York City Retirement Systems; C$328.2 billion ($263.5 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; $195.6 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; $146 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin; and the C$180.5 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto.