Anti-fossil fuel groups are vowing to turn up the heat on ExxonMobil after the company refused to adopt resolutions to address climate change Wednesday, by urging the company’s shareholders to divest their shares entirely.
It was the shareholders, however, who refused to adopt the resolutions.
“The recommendation by Exxon’s board to outright reject every single climate resolution from shareholders sends an incontestable signal to investors: it’s due time to divest from Exxon’s deception,” May Boeve, executive director of environmentalist group 350.org, said after hearing of the shareholders’ decision.
Boeve and 350.org are leading proponents of the Keep it in the Ground campaign and movement for pension funds, schools and others to divest from investments in fossil fuels.
Anti-fossil fuel activists have taken it on the chin recently, especially after a new survey Monday from financial advisors FTI Consulting showed that former public employees balk at the idea of their retirement pensions being “politicized” by fossil fuel divestment crusaders.
Nearly 88 percent of those surveyed in Texas told researchers they don’t support the divestment campaign — in fact, they flat out opposed it. The same view holds true among 72 percent of retirees in New York, who think divestment is a raw deal for public pensions. This is odd considering the scorn New York’s general population has heaped on natural gas producers, including having its governor ban hydraulic fracturing last June.
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson made comments after the decisions that seem to echo many of the sentiments made by the environmentalist community.
Tillerson said at the meeting that Exxon accepts the research showing that man-made global warming is happening, but added: “The reality is there is no alternative energy source known on the planet or available today to replace the prevalence of fossil fuels in the global economy.”
Tillerson added: “The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.”