Shell is not the only company facing shareholder anger. ExxonMobil faces a shareholder revolt led by the billionaire Rockefeller family that also has the support of four significant British institutional investors.
They are calling for a shake-up in the governance of the world’s biggest oil company.
Exxon is facing a rebellion from its investors over its hardline approach to global warming. The firm has refused to follow rival oil companies in committing large-scale capital investment to environmentally friendly technology such as wind and solar power.
The Rockefeller dynasty have sponsored four shareholder resolutions demanding changes at Exxon. One of these calls on Exxon’s chief executive Rex Tillerson, to relinquish his role as chairman in favour of an outsider to bring in an alternative point of view.
F&C Asset Management’s director of governance and sustainable investment, Kevin Litvack, said it could pave the way for a different attitude at Exxon towards the environment. “Despite top-notch individual directors, the company’s record over the last decade, particularly regarding climate change, demonstrates that debate has been lacking.”
Rather than lacking any debate, Exxon have indeed fuelled the sceptics debate, by funding dozens of climate sceptics and right-wing think tanks.