Occidental to Join Exxon in Reporting Climate Risks to Investors

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By Andrea Vittorio

Occidental Petroleum Corp. plans to report early next year on risks to its business from climate change, a step sought by more than 60 percent of its investors.

The company joins oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. and electric utility PPL Corp. in yielding to a shareholder push for more disclosure on how carbon curbs could affect them in the long term.

“We have been productively engaging with our shareholders and other stakeholders on climate-related disclosure and expect to publish a report in early 2018,” Melissa Schoeb, Occidental’s vice president of corporate affairs, said in a statement to Bloomberg Law. The oil and gas explorer’s pledge to provide added disclosures on how it’s assessing and managing climate-related risks was first mentioned in the appendix to a quarterly earnings presentation in August but no timeline was given for that reporting.

Three Majority Votes

Exxon Mobil said Dec. 11 it would likewise expand its climate risk reporting after a similar shareholder proposal passed over board opposition, thanks to unprecedented backing from investing giants like BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group.

A third climate disclosure request won support from a majority of shareholders this year at PPL Corp., which has already published an assessment of potential impacts from a low-carbon future. New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, who submitted the proposals at PPL and Exxon, is reviewing that report, a spokesperson said.

“Exxon’s decision demonstrates that investors have the power to hold corporations accountable and to compel them to address our very real climate-related concerns,” DiNapoli, overseer of the nation’s third-largest public pension plan, said in a statement Dec. 12. “We will continue to monitor Exxon’s response to climate change as we urge the company, and others in the energy sector, to find ways that they can adapt to the growing lower carbon economy.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Vittorio in Washington at avittorio@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at ywilczek@bloomberglaw.com

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