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Exxon gives up major climate change fight

Score one for ordinary shareholders and people worried about climate change.After years of resisting, ExxonMob...

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 4:37 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2017 4:37 PM

Score one for ordinary shareholders and people worried about climate change.

After years of resisting, ExxonMobil has agreed to reveal the risks it faces from climate change and the global crackdown on carbon emissions.

It's a major reversal for the world's biggest publicly traded oil company. Exxon aggressively fought a shareholder proposal in May to disclose how the changing climate could hurt the company. The proposal wasn't binding, but 63% of shareholders supported it -- a rare rebuke that forced Exxon to rethink its stance.

Exxon said on Monday it has "reconsidered" the proposal following talks with major shareholders and supporters of the idea. Exxon said in an SEC filing that "in the near future" it will "further enhance" its disclosures on climate change.

Those enhancements, Exxon said, will include how the company is positioning for a lower-carbon future, how its business could be hurt by shifting energy demands and the "implications of two degree Celsius scenarios." The 2015 Paris climate accord requires countries to limit global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Limiting global warming could have massive implications for Exxon. For instance, Exxon's energy assets could lose value if the world's oil appetite shrinks because of emerging technologies like electric cars and regulations stemming from the Paris agreement.

Related: These companies are coming clean on climate change

Thomas DiNapoli, the New York state comptroller, who spearheaded the proposal, celebrated Exxon's reversal in a statement and called it a "win for shareholders."

"Exxon's decision demonstrates that investors have the power to hold corporations accountable and to compel them to address our very real climate-related concerns," said DiNapoli, who oversees nearly $200 billion in New York pensions held by teachers, police officers and other public workers.

In the past, Exxon had rejected the need for a so-called stress test of its climate risk because it already published an annual energy outlook that incorporates the impact of "increasingly stringent climate policies." Exxon has also pointed to efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions through investments in new technology.

Exxon had also urged President Trump not to abandon the global climate agreement. The accord should boost demand for Exxon's vast natural gas business over dirtier fuels like coal.

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of the Paris accord, nearly 240 companies, including BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase, have agreed to come clean on the risks from climate change.

Related: Harvard study: Exxon 'misled the public' on climate change

The Exxon shareholder vote was seen by climate activists as a major victory. In support of the shareholder proposal, Greenpeace launched a campaign in Dallas that featured billboards, bumper stickers and a blimp that said, "You pay the price for Exxon's greed."

Exxon has only come under more scrutiny since then. In August, Harvard University published a peer-reviewed study that found Exxon misled the public about the dangers of climate change for nearly 40 years. Exxon dismissed the study as "inaccurate and preposterous."

In September, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland filed lawsuits demanding Exxon and other oil companies pay billions to cover the costs of sea walls and other protections against rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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