STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 31°
Columbus
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 30°
Oxford
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 27°
Starkville
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 28°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather