Shareholders at Exxon Mobil and Chevron rejected resolutions backed by environmentalists that would have pushed the companies to take stronger stands in favor of limiting climate change.
Environmentalists took solace, however, that some of their ideas gained considerable support.
At Chevron Corp., a resolution asking for an annual report each year on how climate-change policies will affect the company received 41 percent of the vote. A similar resolution at Exxon got 38 percent.
Also, Exxon Mobil Corp. shareholders voted to ask directors to adopt a proxy-access rule, which would make it easier for shareholders to propose their own board candidates. Backers including the New York City comptroller said it could result in the election of independent directors who could help the company address risks like climate change.
The meetings Wednesday — Exxon’s in Dallas, Chevron’s in San Ramon, California — came as the companies are trying to dig out from the collapse in crude prices that began in mid-2014. Exxon earned $16.15 billion last year, its smallest profit since 2002. Chevron’s annual profit plunged 76 percent to $4.59 billion and included the company’s first money-losing quarter since 2002.
Crude prices have rebounded since February, boosting the shares of the top two U.S. oil companies, but they remain about half of what they were at their last peak.
Exxon is also dealing with investigations by officials in several states into what the company knew and allegedly didn’t disclose about oil’s role in climate change.
The company’s shareholders rejected resolutions to put a climate expert on the board and support the goal of a UN meeting in Paris last year to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.