New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, released the following statement today in response to a majority shareholder vote of 62.3 percent in support of the Fund’s request that ExxonMobil do more to address climate change.
"This is an unprecedented victory for investors in the fight to ensure a smooth transition to a low carbon economy. Climate change is one of the greatest long-term risks we face in our portfolio and has direct impact on the core business of ExxonMobil. The burden is now on ExxonMobil to respond swiftly and demonstrate that it takes shareholder concerns about climate risk seriously."
New York state’s pension fund and the Church of England co-filed the proposal at Exxon last year. The company’s attempt to block the proposal from consideration at its 2016 annual meeting was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That year it received 38 percent support, a record for a climate related proposal at the company. The proposal has been joined by dozens of other investors, including the New York City Retirement Systems, CalPERS and other U.S. and European investors. A full list of this year’s co-filers is available here.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with an estimated $192 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2017. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.