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Corporate America watches as Exxon sues climate shareholder groups

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: ExxonMobil is taking legal action against Follow This, a Dutch climate activist group, and Arjuna Capital, over their climate petition, alleging it breaches US securities rules
Despite the activists withdrawing their proposal, Exxon insists on pressing forward with the case, accusing them of using shareholder activism to attack the company from within

🔭 The context: This legal battle marks a new phase in the conflict over ESG investing, following a rise in shareholder resolutions on environmental, social, and governance matters
Exxon's lawsuit comes three years after a significant proxy defeat to Engine No. 1, highlighting the growing tensions between large corporations and activist investors over climate change initiatives

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The confrontation illustrates the challenges and resistance faced by climate activists in pushing major oil companies towards more aggressive emissions reduction goals 
It underscores the broader debate on the role of investors and companies in addressing climate change and the strategies employed by both sides to influence corporate policies

⏭️ What's next: The outcome of Exxon's lawsuit could have significant implications for shareholder activism, potentially setting a precedent that affects the ability of small investors to influence corporate environmental policies
It may also signal to other companies how they might combat similar ESG-related proposals in the future

💬 One quote: "What Exxon is trying to do here is to really try to fundamentally shift the balance of corporate power between corporations and their investors by making investors think twice about exercising their rights to file a shareholder proposal," (Andrew Logan, senior director at Ceres)

📈 One stat: Follow This controls shares in Exxon worth less than $4,000, yet has been a persistent voice for change within the company, highlighting the impact that small investors can have on corporate environmental responsibility

Click for more news covering the latest on energy


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