Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 11:33:59 -0400
From: Tim Brennan <email@example.com>
It has been a very interesting two weeks in the 2003 Global Warming
Shareholder Campaign. Just yesterday, the climate change resolution at
Chevron-Texaco pushing for more renewables received 32% of the vote. This
is more that triple the last vote in 2001 which received 9%. CERES played
a key role in coordinating this campaign and in convincing Institutional
Shareholder Services to support the resolution.
In another positive development, last week Institutional Shareholder
Services recommended that all of its clients support the global warming
resolution at ExxonMobil. This was driven by a new research report
commissioned by CERES and Campaign ExxonMobil called SLEEPING TIGER,
HIDDEN LIABILITIES: Amid growing risk and industry movement on climate
change, ExxonMobil falls farther behind.
The report concludes that ExxonMobil is now alone among the four
"supermajor" oil companies in refusing to take meaningful action to
mitigate the growing risks posed by global warming. The report, produced
by Claros Consulting of London, England, notes that a host of global
warming events and trends converging over the last year have
"significantly increased" the climate-related risks to the wealth of
ExxonMobil shareholders. The report was officially released May 13, and
has attracted press coverage (see article from Reuters below). If you
would like to see it, it is available for free download from our website
It will be very interesting to see what the vote is on May 28 given that
last year the resolution stunned management when it received the support
of 20% of the shareholders.
Also last week, the resolution at TXU, a major power company and producer
of greenhouse gasses, received 24% of the shareholders' vote over the
objections of management. This is on top of the recent vote at American
Electric Power that received 27% of the shareholders' votes.
Clearly, we are succeeding in making companies' responses to the threat of
global warming an important issue for many mainstream investors.
If you have any questions or would like more information, let me know.
Director of Development and Communications
CERES, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
99 Chauncy Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Ph: (617) 247-0700 ext. 37
Fax: (617) 267-5400
From Reuters 5/15/03
Exxon said to lag majors in climate policy
NEW YORK - Top global energy company Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N) is the
poorest performer among leading world energy producers in responding to
global climate change and disclosing greenhouse risks to investors, social
investment groups said.
London-based Claros Consulting released a report this week that said
unlike its peers BP (BP.L) and Shell Oil Co. (SHEL.L) (RD.AS), Exxon Mobil
does not support carbon trading, in which companies that produce
greenhouse gases over set limits would have to purchase credits to emit
over those limits.
Claros and Boston-based Coalition for Environmentally Responsible
Economies also said that unlike ChevronTexaco (CVX.N) and Shell, Exxon
does not participate in carbon pricing, which factors in the cost of
carbon emissions when deciding whether to go ahead with projects.
Energy companies produce substantial amounts of greenhouse gases such as
carbon dioxide, that scientists say cause climate change. Insurance
companies such as Munich Re (MUVGn.DE) say greenhouse risks, such as
rising seas to low-lying nations and agricultural losses from global
warming could soon total hundred of billions of dollars in the next 50 years.
TECHNOLOGY OR TRADE
An Exxon Mobil spokesman said while greenhouse gas emissions may indeed
pose a threat, studies must continue to understand the risks and possible
"Emissions trading really doesn't get you anywhere," said Exxon Mobil's
Tom Cirigliano. "The answer is going to be new technology which absolutely
reduces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions."
Exxon has made its oil refineries 37 percent more efficient since the
1970s, one example of how technology changes reduce emissions, Cirigliano said.
But Peter Altman, of Austin-based Campaign Exxon Mobil, said Exxon's
refinery efficiency lags the efficiency rates of other industries such as
chemical and steel as well as the 45 percent more efficient rate of the
economy as a whole.
Altman said Exxon Mobil does not disclose greenhouse risks on its
financial reports as completely as energy concerns such as BP and
ConocoPhillips. On its financial releases to the Securities Exchange
Commission BP lists the risks associated with the Kyoto Protocol, which
seeks to limit emissions and needs only Russia's approval to go into
effect. BP's filings also mention the company's investments in alternative
energies like wind and solar power which cut emissions.
But Cirigliano said the company would not seek to quantify its global
warming risks. "There's a lot of smoke being blown around the whole issue
of global climate change, and we're not going to participate in the PR
(public relations) efforts that some companies are involved in and the PR
efforts that some environmental groups are involved in."
Claros released the report ahead of Exxon's May 28 annual meeting in which
shareholders are set to vote on three climate-related resolutions. At last
year's annual meeting, 20.3 percent of shareholders voted for a resolution
that would force the company to disclose its strategy for pursuing
alternative energies such as wind and solar energy.
Story by Timothy Gardner
Story Date: 15/5/2003
© Reuters News Service 2002