The Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed Exxon Mobil to block a shareholder proposal requiring the oil giant to set targets to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposal called for the company to disclose greenhouse gas targets aligned with the 2015 Paris climate agreement effort to keep average global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius, a goal some experts contend is unattainable.
The shareholder community has increasingly pressured publicly traded firms to assess climate change risk as the U.S. government shies away from climate change regulation. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 that the United States will withdraw from the Paris deal, though it cannot formally do so until November 2020.Exxon had contended the resolution was misleading and would interfere with management responsibilities.
The SEC said in its decision letter Tuesday that the requirement would “micromanage” the company and “impose specific methods for implementing complex policies in place of the ongoing judgments of management as overseen by its board of directors.”
One group of investors who supported the resolution represented $9.5 trillion in assets under management.