For immediate release, Wednesday May 11th, 2016:
MORE THAN 1,000 PROFESSORS WORLDWIDE URGE EXXON/CHEVRON SHAREHOLDERS TO PASS CLIMATE RESOLUTIONS
More than 1000 professors from over 40 universities around the world have come together to sign an open letter urging the shareholders of Exxon Mobil and Chevron to pass eight climate change-related shareholder resolutions at the companies’ Annual General Meetings (AGMs) on May 25th, says Positive Investment, an international coalition of students, academics, and staff concerned about ethical investment.
The letters — with all 1000 signatures — will be mailed to each of the companies’ top 20 shareholders on Thursday afternoon; signatures will be accepted until noon Eastern Standard Time.
“Academics clearly recognise that this is a chance to change the trajectory of two of the largest fossil fuel companies in the world,” says Positive Investment spokesperson Lily Tomson. “This has happened very quickly, which shows the depth of support among professors.”
The resolutions cover everything from 2°C business plans and methane leakage (which has 25 times the potency of CO2) to greenhouse gas reduction goals and lobbying disclosure.
“We’re expecting a surge in the last few days as word continues to spread to all corners of the globe,” says Tomson. “Signatories include professors from Oxford, Cambridge, all eight Ivy League universities, and dozens of other institutions from at least twenty countries thus far. We’re humbled by the enthusiasm academics have shown, and we encourage everyone to push for yet more signatures in the coming days.”
High-profile endorsements include Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change; Lord Martin Rees of the University of Cambridge; Professor Bob Eccles from the Harvard Business School; and Dr. Gernot Wagner of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, co-author of Climate Shock.
One of the companies’ top 20 shareholders, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, recently announced its support for the portfolio resilience resolutions co-filed by the Church Commissioners for England and others. As You Sow filed resolutions asking Exxon and Chevron to report energy resources using an energy-neutral metric that treats barrels of oil and renewables equally; the old system of reporting incentivises the companies to replace every barrel of oil or face market downgrades. Monday’s VoteYourPension launch, lead by ShareAction,AODP, and SumOfUs, saw thousands of retirement fund members pressure Exxon and Chevron’s shareholders on these resolutions.
Investment management companies like Vanguard, State Street, BlackRock, and Wellington Management Company count among both companies’ largest shareholders — with the Chevron Corporation Employee Savings Investment Plan coming third among Chevron’s investors. These funds’ press offices can be reached using the contact information attached.
About Positive Investment: Positive Investment is a global organisation of students working with academics, staff, industry experts, and other allies to offer a toolkit of options for maximising the good (and minimising the bad) done with investments – without losing sight of financial goals. The organisation is especially driven by the urgency of climate change and the strong belief that there can be win-win solutions that bring ethics and finance together.
P+I started out at the University of Cambridge as Positive Investment Cambridge – a group of students, academics, and staff working with the University to integrate ethical considerations into its investment practices. Media coverage includes The Independent (front page), The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among others.
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Twitter handle: @PlusInvestment
Exxon’s largest shareholders: http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=XOM
Chevron’s largest shareholders: http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=CVX