Concerns over climate change present a growing challenge to Big Oil’s business model
WASHINGTON — After a surprise win last week, activist investors have picked up a third ExxonMobil board seat, according to reports. This development will provide additional leverage to press the oil giant to address growing concerns about climate change.
This comes after Chevron, Exxon and Shell — three out of the four most polluting investor-owned global companies on the planet — had a series of climate change-related setbacks last week. At Chevron, shareholders voted for measures that could push their companies to cut emissions, while a Dutch court ordered Shell to cut its emissions by 45 percent by 2030.
In response, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale issued the following statement:
“Over the past half century, a handful of investor-owned groups have made enormous profits polluting our atmosphere and degrading our planet. These companies’ colossal greenhouse gas emissions have played a major role in the increasing droughts, out-of-control wildfires and increasingly powerful hurricanes that have pummeled the United States in recent years. And scientists predict that if we don’t immediately lower the atmosphere’s carbon intake, the planet will become even hotter and less hospitable.
“The ongoing shareholder revolts and landmark court ruling over the last week show oil companies are facing growing internal and external pressure to take real action on climate by immediately slashing their emissions.”
Environment America Global Warming Solutions Senior Director Andrea McGimsey said:
“While it’s encouraging that investors and courts are taking a stronger stand against climate change by holding oil and gas majors accountable, we need to continue sustained political pressure to adopt policies that simultaneously ramp down fossil fuel use and build out clean energy and transportation infrastructure.”