ExxonMobil shareholders increase support for renewables

Feature story - 30 May, 2002
ExxonMobil shareholders delivered a massive blow to the company today in a vote on the company's renewable energy policies.

Climbers paint 'Stop Esso' on a fuel tank at Esso refinery.

A resolution demanding Exxon (also known as Esso) outline its future plans for the promotion of renewable energy gained an unprecedented 20.3 percent of shareholders' votes - $55 billion in shares - at the company's annual meeting today.

This year's vote marks a substantial increase over last year, when a similar resolution garnered just 8.9 percent of the vote. The vote follows advice that the company's failure to respond to climate change by investing in renewables could damage its profitability.

"The magnitude of this vote shows that shareholders as well as customers are concerned about Exxon's attitude toward climate change," said Greenpeace International climate campaigner Stephanie Tunmore. "The increased level of support for the resolution among mainstream investors shows a growing awareness of the dangers of climate change, but it also reflects concern that Exxon is missing out on lucrative new energy technology markets and risking major brand damage from a consumer backlash," she added.

In the last two weeks protests against Exxon's sabotage of international climate negotiations were held in Australia, Austria, France, UK, U.S., Luxembourg, Germany and Canada.

"Exxon is taking the heat around the globe for being the prime force behind President Bush's rejection of the Kyoto treaty to fight global warming," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace U.S. climate campaign coordinator. "Exxon should immediately cease its manipulation of climate science and politics and start implementing clean energy solutions to climate change, as a significant group of its investors wants."

Full text of the resolution