Advocacy Organization @CeresNews Responds to NY Attorney General Investigation of ExxonMobil

Nov 6, 2015 3:20 PM ET
Press Release

November 6, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Ceres and its investor members have engaged with ExxonMobil and its predecessor companies for decades. Our message all along has been clear: disclose the risks of climate change to investors, and tell us what you are doing to manage those risks. We have long warned the company that failure to do so could bring about significant liability.

Despite our long engagement, ExxonMobil has continued to have a poor record of disclosure on this key business risk issue. Just this year, Ceres and 65 investors called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require better climate disclosures from Exxon and others.

As a result, we believe that the allegations that the New York Attorney General’s office is investigating raise significant concerns that need to be addressed. Exxon was, and is, subject to an obligation to ensure the company is properly disclosing these material risks to investors.

While the NY AG’s current efforts focus on ExxonMobil, we believe that this action represents a potential tipping point not just for Exxon but for the industry as a whole. It reveals just how much risk the industry has taken on through its work to deny and suppress the risks of climate change, and tilts the risk/reward equation firmly in favor of the industry playing a constructive role in the climate debate.

This groundbreaking investigation underscores that climate risk is not only an issue for environmental advocates. Climate change and the urgent need to address it has grown into a serious financial risk that materially impacts the value of companies. Investors deserve a clear and open accounting of how climate change affects their investments and how companies like Exxon are adapting (or failing to adapt) to manage these risks.

As ExxonMobil prepares to select a new CEO, this presents an opportunity for ExxonMobil to marshal its financial and scientific resources to play a very different role by supporting strong climate action now.

Statement from Ceres Oil & Gas Director Andrew Logan.