Texas-based oil and gas major Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) conceded two board of director seats to Engine No. 1, an activist firm that held 0.02% shares at the company.
This move only consolidates the fact that the investors are serious about a shift towards a more sustainable and carbon-free world. The firm had nominated four members for the role and garnered support from pension funds like CalPERS, calSTRS and New York State Common Retirement Fund. The result of the two other members are likely to come in on Thursday.
While Exxon filed their will to add two new board members in their ranks with energy industry experience and climate experience, Engine No. 1 made it clear that their efforts were not effective. The firm said, “What the Board needs are directors with experience in successful and profitable energy industry transformations who can help turn aspirations of addressing the risks of climate change into a long-term business plan, not talking points.”
However, the company has allotted $3 billion for research on carbon capture and other ways to cut emissions. Jeff Ubben, another member of the board of directors, appointed in March had formed ValueAct in 2000, another activist firm. It is believed that Exxon’s second major shareholder, BlackRock, also wants the nature activist group to gain hold in the company.
Another similar development took place in Chevron Corp. (CVX) where the proposal to cut down on “Scope 3 emissions” got 61% vote in the annual general meeting on Wednesday. The proposal was put forward by a Dutch activist group Follow This who had successfully pulled off similar moves in two other fossil fuel companies named ConocoPhillips (COP) and Phillips 66 (PSX) earlier in May.
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