ExxonMobil shareholders vote down green proposals

Descendants of John D Rockefeller, the oil magnate whose Standard Oil made him the richest man in history at the turn of the 19th-century, pressed the modern-day ExxonMobil to focus on the impact of climate change and change its focus to renewable energies.

For the second year in a row, members of the Rockefeller family attended the annual ExxonMobil shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas, yesterday to warn that the company will not survive if it does not lift its sights beyond fossil fuels.

But Rex Tillerson, the chairman and chief executive, told them that oil and gas will continue to be world's dominant fuels, meeting nearly two-thirds of global energy needs until at least 2030, and shareholders voted down a slew of proposals aimed at making Exxon focus more heavily on green issues.

Shareholders who attended the meeting at the massive Meyerson Symphony Hall were not greeted by any environmental protesters, a first in many years at a company whose previous chief executive, Lee Raymond, was dubbed the "Darth Vader of global warming" by activists because Exxon used to sponsor groups who denied climate change was caused by human activity.

Mr Tillerson said the company was already investing in research into the causes and the possible effects of climate change, which he said Exxon viewed as "a serious risk-management issue".

Ann Rockefeller Roberts, a descendant of John D Rockefeller, warned unless the company increased its focus on renewable energy, it would eventually suffer financially.

Stephen Viederman, proposing a resolution that would urge management to put more focus on renewable fuels, said: "Exxon is very profitable now, but ill-prepared for sustaining value in the future. Energy challenges for the future have lead times of decades, not years, but Exxon has the entrenched mindset of an oil and gas company. Unlike its major competitors, Exxon has neither a policy nor plan of action, nor significant investment in renewable energy, which will play a larger role in the future than its scenarios project."

All the shareholder resolutions went down to defeat, including one which would have separated the roles of chairman and chief executive, a move many campaigners hoped could have helped install a more green-focused chairman above Mr Tillerson.

Chevron also held its annual meeting yesterday, where shareholders rejected a call for an environmental protection report on its global operations. The company is battling a $27bn legal claim over jungle pollution in Ecuador.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas