Religious investors urge Exxon to drop lawsuit against activist shareholders

(Reuters, 8 Feb 2024) A group of religious investors urged Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), opens new tab to drop a lawsuit against climate activists, saying in a letter to the energy company's board seen by Reuters on Thursday that the action is a broad threat to shareholder rights.

"This unprecedented suit risks alienating shareholders, harming Exxon’s reputation, and undermining the Securities and Exchange Commission" (SEC) by sidestepping the usual regulatory path companies use to block resolutions, states the Feb. 7 letter from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

The group represents religious investors and other socially minded institutions with some $4 trillion in total assets. Members include Arjuna Capital of Massachusetts. It and Amsterdam-based activist group Follow This had filed a shareholder proposal calling on Exxon to strengthen its targets for emissions cuts. On Jan. 21, Exxon sued to block the resolution, breaking with the traditional process in which companies ask U.S. regulators for permission to skip votes at their annual meetings. The filers then withdrew their proposal, but Exxon has continued the lawsuit seeking to recover legal costs and other relief. Advertisement · Scroll to continue

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Reuters, 8 Feb 2024: Religious investors urge Exxon to drop lawsuit against activist shareholders