London — The Church Commissioners for England and the head of New York State's retirement fund, Thomas DiNapoli, have called on ExxonMobil to follow Shell in setting targets for greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and from its products.
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In a statement Sunday, the Commissioners, which manage the Church of England's assets, together with DiNapoli said they had filed a shareholder resolution for consideration at the major's next annual meeting requiring it disclose greenhouse gas reduction targets for the short, medium and long-term, in line with the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit increases to 1.5 C.
The Commissioners' head of responsible investment, Edward Mason, said ExxonMobil had started addressing the impact of climate change on its business under CEO Darren Woods, but had "much more to do."
"We want to see ExxonMobil develop a clear strategy for long-term sustainability," Mason said. "Our request would bring Exxon in line with its biggest European peer, Shell, and we believe the board can and should support it."
DiNapoli said: "ExxonMobil's lack of greenhouse gas 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 month Shell said it would start setting Net Carbon Footprint targets covering periods of three to five years, annually from 2020, contributing to a long-term target of cutting its carbon footprint by half by 2050 and by 20% by 2035. Shareholders will vote on a mechanism for linking carbon reductions to executives' remuneration at Shell's annual general meeting in 2020.
The statement follows some progress at the COP 24 climate talks in Poland this weekend on measures to enforce the Paris agreement, particularly as regards global emissions trading.
ExxonMobil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
--Nick Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, email@example.com