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Exxon asks US regulator to block climate change resolution: investors



(Reuters) – Exxon Mobile Corp is trying to block an investor proposal calling on the world's largest listed oil company to set targets for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions, two of the investor groups involved said Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: A plane comes in for a landing over an Exxon sign at a gas station in Chicago suburb of Norridge, Illinois, USA, October 27, 2016. REUTERS / Jim Young / File Photo / File Photo

Exxon At the end of January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission wrote that the proposal put to the vote at its May meeting is misleading and an attempt to "micro-govern the company", spokesmen for investors supporting the proposal said.

Financial Times reported on the letter earlier Sunday.

Church Commissioners for England (CCE), Church Engagement Fund, Institutional Investment Supporter, and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Managing the State Pension Fund, pushing the proposal both saw Exxon letter, officials for both groups told Reuters.

"Attempting to find out a shareholder proposal from institutional investors with a responsible responsibility for dealing with climate risk is an outdated reflex," CCE's responsible manager Edward Mason said in a statement. "Our proposal deserves more serious consideration."

Exxon rivals Royal Dutch Shell PLC and BP Plc have taken steps to expand the spread of greenhouse gas emissions or tied management salaries to reduce emissions.

Investors supporting the Exxon proposal manage a total of $ 1.9 trillion and are led by DiNapoli.

"Exxon is trying to deny players' voting rights a significant risk to the climate," DiNapoli said in a statement on Sunday. Exxon's attitude is "succinct and disappointing."

Exxon spokesman Scott Silvestri said in an e-mail on Sunday that the company had nothing to share before the company's proxies were filed.

The proposal, led by New York State Pension Fund, invites Exxon to introduce greenhouse gas emission reduction targets "consistent with the greenhouse gas reduction targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement", including for its own use Products .

But the short, medium and long-term goals will allow shareholders to oversee its "daily" considerations, Exxon wrote to the SEC.

CCE spokesman Mark Arena said Exxon told the SEC that it has already put in place many of the measures that the proposal requires.

2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at limiting an increase in average world temperatures to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times.

In 2017, DiNapoli asked a campaign that convinced a majority of the shareholders to urge Exxon for detailed risks that it might face rising global temperatures.

Exxon produced a report last year describing how global demand for oil could fall sharply in 2040, but critics said the report was brief in areas such as how climate policies could affect corporate finances.

Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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