SEC says ExxonMobil should allow climate vote

ExxonMobil: Under fire

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has sided with shareholders urging ExxonMobil to include resolution showing impacts from climate change on the company's business in its annual proxy statement.

The proposal, put forth by a coalition representing $1 billion in ExxonMobil shares, calls on the company to report how its portfolio would be affected by the Paris climate pact's target of limiting global warming to below 2 degress Celcius above pre-industrial levels. The coalition is made up of heavy-hitting investors including the Church of England and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli,

The decision by the SEC does not constitute an order,and ExxonMobil could still exclude the proposal from its proxy statement. However, it could give less weight to ExxonMobil's arguments that the proposal should be excluded because it is too vague and the company already discloses business risks associated with climate change less weight.

A spokesman for ExxonMobil said the company will provide the board's position on the shareholder resolutions in the proxy statement, which will be distributed to shareholders next month.

The investor push follows a growing movement for investigations into oil and gas companies after published reports alleged that ExxonMobil misled the public about fossil fuels' role in climate change. The company has been under investigation in New York state since November.

More recently, the company was dealt another blow as the Rockefeller Family Fund divested all of its fossil fuel investments, including those in ExxonMobil. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in 1870, the remnants of which would eventually spin into several entities, including ExxonMobil

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