ExxonMobil has officially received a suspension from a group dedicated to climate advocacy that it had been a part of its founding.
Along with Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson, BP, and other corporations, Exxon saw to the launch of the Climate Leadership Council, which has pursued a climate solution that “rapidly lowers carbon emissions, invests all Americans in a clean energy future, and holds other countries accountable.”
As reported by Axios, “the move comes in the wake of a leaked video in which senior Exxon lobbyist Keith McCoy says the oil giant has only come out in favor of a carbon tax for public relations reasons.”
McCoy stated to an activist that “the cynical side of me says, yeah, we kind of know that but it gives us a talking point that we can say, well what is ExxonMobil for? Well, we’re for a carbon tax.” These comments were very quickly condemned by Darren Woods, the current CEO of Exxon.
Despite all of this, Greg Bertelsen, the Climate Leadership Council CEO, stated in a release that the organization would be suspending Exxon’s membership as well as all of its involvement with the advocacy arm Americans for Carbon Dividends: “We continue to believe that we will establish lasting climate solutions by bringing together a broad and diverse group of stakeholders who can work together to address this enormous challenge. This will continue to be our guiding principle.”
“It’s more important than ever for organizations to work together to advance meaningful policy solutions to address shared challenges and society’s net-zero ambitions,” responded Exxon in a release that called the move “disappointing and counterproductive.”
As reported by the Daily Wire back in June, “activist investors” had launched a firm names Engine No. 1, which was an investment firm that believed “a company’s performance is greatly enhanced by the investments it makes in workers, communities, and the environment.” Back in December, the group managed to take an o.o2% stake in Exxon and sent an activist letter addressed to its Board of Directors, insisting that the oil conglomerate “must change” with the times.
Engine No. 1 then went on to argue that Exxon’s lackluster numbers have been due to hesitancy in the pursuit of “growth areas like renewables” even though “such investments are likely to deliver lower returns to shareholders than oil and gas projects.” While the investors do not expect Exxon to “diversify overnight,” they do think that pursuing renewables has “more than cosmetic value to investors.”