Exxon Turns Back Shareholder Revolt – For Now
May 28, 2016
Above, in a recent interview for a Northern Michigan TV station, I described where I thought Exxon-Mobil was following revelations, that continue, about their awareness of climate science realities even in the 1970s, and before.
Recent developments show that I was pretty much spot on. I take ClimateCrocks on the road frequently, in places as far away as Denver, San Francisco, and Reykjavik – so supporting with donations here helps put boots on the ground, as it were, as well as videos on the web.
Shareholders of Exxon Mobil and Chevron have voted to reject a series of resolutions aimed at encouraging the companies to take stronger actions to battle climate change.
But Exxon Mobil shareholders voted in favor of a rule that could make it easier for minority shareholders to nominate outsiders to the company’s board, a potential victory for environmentalists.
The resolutions would have required the company to add a climate change expert to its board, publish an annual report on the subject, and pursue policies that limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. All were defeated at Exxon Mobil’s annual meeting in Dallas.
Chevron shareholders voted down a series of similar resolutions at their annual meeting in San Ramon, Calif.
One bright spot for environmentalists was the passage of the so-called proxy access rule by Exxon Mobil shareholders. The rule, which won 61.9 percent of the vote, could make it easier to bring outsiders such as a climate change scientist onto the board.
Shareholders heard from several scientists who urged the company to take the threat of climate change more seriously.
“That’s what we’re basically asking for, is doing all that can be done with regard to cutting emissions,” said Michael MacCracken, chief scientist for climate change programs at the Climate Institute in Washington, D.C.
Below, my 2012 interview with Dr. MacCracken, who was heading Department of Energy research on climate in the early 80s, and actually worked and published with climate scientists from Exxon in some of that early research.
You can see clips here from a lecture he gave at Sandia Labs in 1982 – indicating the degree of understanding that he shared with Exxon scientists at the time. Much of it sounds like it could have been yesterday – only difference being, then, we just projected and predicted it, now – we are seeing it unfold before our eyes.