Exxon’s 25 Years of ‘No:’ A Timeline of Resolutions on Climate Change

A narrative chronology and detailed spreadsheet examine Exxon's consistent refusal to support dozens of shareholder climate resolutions since 1990.

An analysis by ICN has found that Exxon has rejected all shareholder-generated proposals on climate change since 1990. Most recently, in responding to shareholder questions at ExxonMobil's annual meeting on May 27, 2015, CEO Rex Tillerson said climate change modeling is "not that good," and that the issue represented a risk that the company would manage like any other business risk. Credit: ExxonMobil

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Editor's note: This is the second of several articles on American oil companies and whether their track records on shareholder resolutions on climate change expose them to legal liabilities. Read the first story.

InsideClimate News reviewed 25 years' worth of shareholder proposals at the three largest U.S. oil companies—ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips—to see how they responded to investor concerns about climate change. 

The examination showed that investors submitted more than 100 climate-related resolutions to prod the companies to acknowledge and quantify the climate risks they face. The measures asked the oil companies to set goals for cutting carbon emissions and take steps to assure their survival in a low-carbon future, among other things. Shareholders voted on 83 of the resolutions, but none of them won the majority vote necessary to pass.

Read the main story, Exxon's Gamble: 25 Years of Rejecting Shareholder Concerns on Climate Change

Investors in ExxonMobil, the biggest and richest of the oil giants, were the most active. Over the last two decades, they sought meetings, sent letters and wrote 62 resolutions about climate change. Exxon has rejected all the proposals and done little to ease their concerns. The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Here is a look at the climate change tug-of-war between Exxon and some of its institutional shareholders.