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A climate change activist could become a member on Exxon Mobil’s board of directors after the company adopted a measure on Wednesday that would allow minority shareholders to nominate outsiders for position in the oil major’s leadership.
The proxy access measure, which was approved during today’s Annual General Meeting, represented the only one of 11 climate change related proposals to be passed by both Exxon and Chevron, which adopted the measure at last year’s meeting.
The move comes as 195 countries prepare to raise funds to implement the Paris accord, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and limit the global temperature rise to two degrees on the centigrade scale.
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The Attorney General has been investigating Exxon for misleading the public about the risks and causes of climate change, but the company maintains that it has been unfairly targeted.
Over 60 percent of voting shareholders supported proxy access, which opposition forces just barely defeated last year. The board had previously opposed it, citing concerns it would allow “special interest groups” to infiltrate the company.
Both Chevron and Exxon voted on several other measures on Monday - more than twice as many as last year - but most of them failed. One rejected proposal would have made executives chart new business plans for the beginning of Paris agreement implementation.
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The governments that agreed to the pact said they would encourage companies to payout dividends to shareholders instead of drilling in new areas.
Critics cited by Reuters said the two major American companies have lagged behind their European counterparts, who have released plans for restructuring their business model already.
France’s Total announced on Tuesday that it would aim to have renewables make up 20 percent of its business portfolio by the year 2030 and Anglo-Dutch Shell has planned a new corporate division to develop clean energy.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…