BlackRock Flexes its Passive Muscle Forcing Climate Change Reporting on ExxonMobil

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli

Shareholders of ExxonMobil voted 62.3% in favor of climate change disclosure. The oil giant will be required to report and disclose potential global laws, regulations and measures that could affect the company in regard to the Paris Agreement on climate change. ExxonMobil’s company management was against the proposal. Interestingly, ExxonMobil has said it supported the Paris Agreement. In 2016, only 38% of shareholders voted in favor of the climate disclosure resolution.

U.S. pension funds in New York had applied pressure on U.S. asset managers to go along with such measures, despite a raft of “noble” public relations quotes from the various investment houses. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a fierce advocate in favor of climate change disclosures, was publicly vocal in his support for the shareholder measure. Asset management giant BlackRock, along with Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) had cast their votes in favor of the climate change reporting disclosure. Will these behemoth asset managers vote in similar fashion to other oil companies?

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