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Church of England calls for ExxonMobil greenhouse gas disclosure

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The manager of the Church of England’s £8.3bn (€9.2bn) endowment fund has co-filed a shareholders’ resolution calling on oil and gas giant ExxonMobil to disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.

The resolution was co-filed with New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) and supported by institutional investors with $1.9trn ($1.7trn) under management, including CalPERS, the Church of England Pensions Board and HSBC Global Asset Management.

The resolution asked the company to set short, medium and long-term GHG targets aligned with the goals established by the Paris Agreement in 2015 to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2º and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5º.

Last year, ExxonMobil shareholders passed a resolution filed by NYSCRF and the Church Commissioners asking it to disclose the impact of measures to combat climate change on its business. In response, the company released a first report in December 2017.

NYSCRF and the Church Commissioners said that they – along with other investors – were continuing talks with ExxonMobil about the importance of releasing a more comprehensive disclosure report. They highlighted that other oil companies, such as Shell and Total, have already begun to set long-term emission reduction ambitions following investor engagement.

Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners, said: “We want to see ExxonMobil develop a clear strategy for long-term sustainability, in line with international commitments for a safer climate. While we have been pleased to see ExxonMobil start to address the impact of climate change on its business over the past two years, the company has much more to do.”

Thomas DiNapoli, New York State comptroller and trustee of NYSCRF, said: “ExxonMobil’s lack of GHG emissions reduction targets puts it at odds with its industry peers that have taken such steps. The world is transitioning to a lower carbon future and Exxon needs to demonstrate its ability to adapt, or risk its bottom line along with investors’ confidence.”

This latest resolution was developed in line with the overarching expectations of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, which engages the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to seek to ensure they take necessary and sufficient action on climate change.

It is expected to be voted on by shareholders at ExxonMobil’s annual general meeting in spring 2019.

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