Investors Seek Meeting with ExxonMobil Execs over Climate Policy
Date: Monday, May 22, 2006 @ 17:00:40 MST
Topic: Investors

From News: HARTFORD, Conn., and BOSTON, Mass., May 22, 2006 - Seventeen leading U.S. pension fund and other institutional investors controlling $658 billion in assets are pushing for a face-to-face meeting with independent members of the ExxonMobil board of directors as a result of growing financial world concerns that ExxonMobil is "a company that fails to acknowledge the potential for climate change to have a profound impact on global energy markets, and which lags far behind its competitors in developing a strategy to plan for and manage these impacts."

Pension fund trustees from seven states, New York City, and eight other major institutional investors with over 110 million ExxonMobil shares worth an estimated $6.75 billion made the request for the meeting this week. All those seeking the action from Exxon Mobil are members of the Investor Network on Climate Risk. The group of 17 consists of six state treasurers (Connecticut, California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Maine, Vermont), the California State Controller, the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), the New York State Comptroller, New York City Comptroller, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, Walden Asset Management, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Fund.

"Shareholders deserve to know if the companies they own are going down the prudent path -- adopting environmental practices that will enable them to survive and thrive in a world of increasing environmental concern and regulation - or whether they are following a path that will damage both our environment and our bottom line," said California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, also a trustee of CalPERS and CalSTRS. "The growing risks of climate change and the skyrocketing gas prices consumers are facing highlight the need for increased investment in alternative energy sources. Exxon Mobil must come clean with shareholders about the company's risks and demonstrate the company is ready to face the environmental challenges of the future."

Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, said: “Investors and Wall Street analysts have recently evaluated Exxon Mobil's corporate governance on climate change relative to its peers such as BP and Shell, and Exxon Mobil has not scored well. Investors in the Investor Network on Climate Risk are now joining forces to ask Exxon Mobil's board to meet with shareholders to discuss the company strategy to protect long-term shareholder value in a carbon-constrained world.”

According to Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, “ExxonMobil is making a massive bet -- with shareholders' money -- that the world’s addiction to oil will not abate for decades, even as its competitors are taking significant steps to prepare for a rapidly changing energy environment. As investors, we are concerned that ExxonMobil is not sufficiently preparing for 'tomorrow’s energy’ and runs the risk of lagging significantly behind its rivals. As shareholders, we need to meet with the ExxonMobil board directly, to learn how it plans to safeguard long-term shareholder value in light of the serious challenges -- and opportunities -- presented by climate change.”

The joint letter reads in part:

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