ExxonMobil GHG Reduction Goals 2011
|Company||Exxon Mobil Corporation|
|Filer||Sisters of St. Dominic (Caldwell, NJ)|
|Sector||Oil and Gas|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals|
|Supporting Memo||Download PDF|
The US Securities and Exchange Commission issued new interpretative guidance in February 2010 clarifying what publicly traded companies should disclose regarding “climate risk.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act in December 2009. It cites carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases (GHGs) as plausible threats to human health and welfare, clearing the way for regulations to reduce GHG emissions. This endangerment finding states that, “in both magnitude and probability, climate change is an enormous problem.” ExxonMobil has acknowledged that “climate change poses risks to society and ecosystems that are serious enough to warrant action — by individuals, by businesses, and by governments.” Yet year after year, the company fails to take serious action in producing quantifiable targets to reduce its production and operational GHG emissions.
Energy markets expert Daniel Yergin, Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, notes that “climate change and putting a price on carbon will change the dynamics of the energy marketplace."
While the details of U.S and international climate policy remain undecided, companies are strategically reducing emissions to ensure long-term fiscal security. Approximately 40% of global GHG emissions come from the production and use of oil and gas, meaning that any global effort to address climate change will require large reductions from our industry.
Shareholders’ repeated request for GHG reduction goals is consistent with ExxonMobil’s own Environmental Business Planning process, which is used “to identify key environmental drivers, set targets in key focus areas, and identify projects and actions to achieve these targets.” ExxonMobil has set specific targets for environmental performance in recent years, such as operations and refinery energy efficiency (10% by 2012), VOCs (5% reductions per year), upstream flaring volumes (23% cuts from 2008 baseline), and NOx and SO2 (70% reduction by 2012 from 2000 baseline).
Our Company has made incremental investments in energy efficiency and flaring reductions, the low-hanging fruit. But the time has clearly come for ExxonMobil to articulate a cohesive strategy for deeper emissions reductions. Proponents believe our Board has never sufficiently responded to shareholders in their request for a clear strategy for dealing with climate risk and opportunity, including articulating goals for reducing GHG emissions from ExxonMobil’s products AND operations.
It is widely agreed that research has understated the enormity of the impact of GHG emissions. Investors expect ExxonMobil to take leadership in developing solutions to this global challenge as the company plays such a critical role in energy markets.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt quantitative goals, based on current technologies, for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company's products and operations; and that the Company report to shareholders by September 30, 2011, on its plans to achieve these goals. Such a report will omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.