For Immediate Release
350.org on New York State’s Renewed Exxon Climate Resolution
“Instead of negotiating with rogue oil corporations, DiNapoli should be protecting New Yorkers.”
NEW YORK - Today, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli renewed the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s (NYSCRF) shareholder resolution, co-sponsored by the Church of England, calling on ExxonMobil to report how its business will be impacted by efforts to tackle global climate change. Despite the resolution receiving a record level of support at last May’s annual meeting, the corporation’s board of directors under the helm of now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, recommended rejecting the resolution. ExxonMobil’s board has recommended rejection of over 70 climate-related shareholder resolutions issued in the last 25 years.
In response, Betámia Coronel, 350.org’s US Reinvestment Coordinator issued the following response:
“Instead of negotiating with rogue oil corporations, DiNapoli should be protecting New Yorkers. Exxon has proved time and time again it will never change its stripes. With Trump and his oil cronies putting profit before people and planet, New York has the potential to be a true beacon of safety and security, yet it continues to invest billions in the likes of Exxon. How many more Superstorm Sandy’s must New Yorkers endure before we finally take bold action?”
A March 2016 report found that New York State’s Common Retirement Fund lost a staggering $5.3 billion from its holdings in fossil fuel companies. That loss would have made each of the fund’s 1.1 million members more than $4,500 richer, and could have helped the state cover nearly 12% of the costs following Superstorm Sandy. Exxon is NYSCRF’s third largest investment, despite New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman currently investigating the corporation’s potential climate fraud.
Recent reports reveal it is in fact in the institutional investors fiduciary duty, and perhaps legal obligation, to divest from fossil fuel companies. To date, nearly 700 institutions representing more than $5 trillion in assets have committed to some level of divestment. There is a broad spectrum of New Yorkers ramping up the call for DiNapoli and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to cut ties with fossil fuels and reinvest in a sustainable economy that works for all New Yorkers.
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.