ExxonMobil files lawsuit to block push by investors for stricter emissions targets, says agenda ‘extreme’

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Exxon Mobil Corp. has taken an unprecedented legal step to thwart a shareholder vote on more stringent emissions targets set for its May meeting. 

Filing a lawsuit in a Texas court, the oil giant is challenging a proposal by investors, led by Arjuna Capital and Follow This, urging Exxon to adopt “Scope 3 targets” to cut greenhouse gas emissions not just from its operations but also from the use of its products by customers.

Darren Woods – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil

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Reuters said this is the first time Exxon has employed legal means to try to halt such a push.

Exxon contends that the investors, pushing for emissions targets, are motivated by an “extreme agenda” and argues that their proposals do not serve the long-term interests of shareholders. The corporation is seeking a court order to remove the vote from its proxy statement, citing previous rejections of similar proposals by shareholders.

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With the shareholder meeting scheduled for May 29, Exxon aims to submit its proxy statement by April 11, anticipating a court ruling by March. 

The outcome of this case may set a significant precedent for corporate accountability in addressing climate change, as Exxon’s legal stance could influence how other companies respond to comparable demands from activist shareholders.

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