For Immediate Release
Exxon’s Board Recommends Rejection of all Climate Resolutions, Reinvigorating the Call to Divest from Exxon’s Deception
Activists rallied outside of the Dallas meeting shedding light on all that #ExxonKnew
WASHINGTON - Today, at Exxon’s annual general meeting, the company’s Board of Directors recommended rejection of all nine non-binding climate resolutions brought to the meeting by shareholders. The rejection of all climate resolutions reaffirms that financially prudent investors must cut ties from Exxon and divest from the rogue corporation.
Recent groundbreaking investigations revealed that Exxon knew all that there was to know about climate change for at least half a century, and chose to pour resources into sowing deep doubt and deception among the public instead of urging action. This latest refusal to act, even through non-binding resolutions, reaffirms that Exxon will never shift its business model to curb the most devastating impacts of climate change.
“The recommendation by Exxon’s board to outright reject every single climate resolution from shareholders sends an incontestable signal to investors: it’s due time to divest from Exxon’s deception,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “Exxon knew everything there was to know about climate change decades ago and chose to sow doubt instead of warning the rest of us. Today’s results reaffirm that Exxon will never turn from its deceptive and destructive ways.”
Key resolutions were proposed by New York State’s comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, CalPERS, the Church of England, and more. Today’s results mimic the rejection of over 60 proposed shareholder resolutions to address climate change over the past two decades. When the New York State’s shareholder resolution was introduced after the Paris climate accord, Exxon attempted to prevent it from coming to a vote. However, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled that Exxon must allow the vote to move forward.
Just outside of the meeting, activists rallied to urge responsible investors to shift their investments away from this company whose executives actively buried the biggest crisis of our time, and whose business model flagrantly violates our international climate commitment. During the Paris climate talks, 350.org announced that more than 500 institutions representing over $3.4 trillion in managed assets have committed to some level of fossil fuel divestment.
The call to divest from Exxon has grown immensely since the news of their deception broke last fall. The Rockefeller Family Fund recently divested from Exxon, referring to the company's actions as "morally reprehensible." Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, and California Representatives Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier, have also called for their respective state’s pension funds to divest. Both states’ pension funds pushed for the passage of their climate resolution at today's meeting, and the rejection will only increase pressure for full divestment.
Just last week, 13 members of the House Committee on ‘Science, Space, and Technology’ sent letters to 17 state Attorneys General and eight non-governmental organizations, including 350.org, requesting communication records between the offices.
“Exxon and its allies in Congress are doing everything in their power to try to distract us from the fight for climate justice. The recommended rejection of shareholder’s climate resolutions today proved that the company’s executives are set on prioritizing profit and greed over our climate and communities,” said Boeve. “We won’t be distracted, and we’re not backing down -- we're going to keep working to spread the word, and keep pushing for divestment from the likes of Exxon.”
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.