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Biggest wealth fund backs climate disclosure at Exxon, Chevron

ExxonMobil news
ExxonMobil news

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund will back proposals to force Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., two of the biggest oil companies, to assess how climate-change policies can affect their business.

The fund, the largest of its kind, will vote in favor of shareholder proposals to introduce climate reporting at both companies’ annual general meeting on May 25, Norges Bank Investment Management, said in two separate statements. NBIM owned 0.78 percent of Exxon and 0.85 percent of Chevron at the end of 2015, according to its website.

“We encourage companies to consider the sensitivity of their long-term business strategy and profitability to different future regulatory and physical climate scenarios,” the fund said. “One such scenario should consider the successful implementation of policies to limit the likelihood of temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius.”

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which gets its mandate from the government, has added responsible investment criteria spanning from a ban on tobacco companies to excluding some weapon producers and most recently restrictions on the ownership of companies linked to coal production or consumption. It started declaring voting plans ahead of some company general meetings last year, and supported proposals at Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc similar to those now submitted at Exxon and Chevron.

The fund will also vote for a proposal at Exxon to require the company to separate the role of chairman from that of chief executive officer, two positions currently held by Rex Tillerson. Norway’s fund will oppose the re-election of Tillerson to Exxon’s board and the re-election of Chevron CEO John S. Watson to his company’s board, which he currently leads.

While the fund will go against the recommendation of Exxon and Chevron’s management teams on these proposals, it will vote with them on other issues.

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