How to Fight Climate Change

Inside Climate News investigated 25 years of climate change-related shareholder proposals submitted to Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips … Out of more than 400 resolutions examined by ICN, 113 involved climate change, carbon restrictions and the resulting market shifts that could undermine the companies’ profitability and stock value.”

“More than one-quarter of the climate-related proposals—30 of them—never got to a vote. They were either withdrawn by their sponsors or excluded from ballots because the companies convinced regulators that they had grounds to do so. The remaining 83 were put to a vote: 40 at Exxon, 22 at Chevron and 21 at ConocoPhillips. None got enough votes to pass.”

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Bill McKibben’s answer: Divestment.

“Divestment won’t move Exxon Mobil directly — that’s impossible; the company is dug in, and someone else will simply buy the stock when it’s sold. But divestment will undercut the industry’s political power, just as happened a generation ago when the issue was South Africa and hundreds of colleges, churches, and state and local governments took action. In the words of … Desmond Tutu, … ‘we were not only able to apply economic pressure on the unjust state but also serious moral pressure.’ Divestment is one tool to change the zeitgeist, so that the day arrives more quickly when the richest and most powerful can no longer mock renewable energy and play down climate change.”

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