NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Responding to shareholder pressure, Exxon Mobil (XOM) Thursday agreed to publish a Carbon Asset Risk report on its Web site, outlining for shareholders its strategies for handling future constraints on carbon emissions and the impact such constraints could have on its operations.
Two investors, Arjuna Capital, the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers, and As You Sow, a non-profit promoting environmental corporate responsibility, had posted a shareholder resolution. Following the company's announcement that it would supply the requested information, the two firms withdrew the resolution.
In a phone interview, Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, described the concerns of the resolution as "an environmental issue, but moreso, it's a financial issue."
"If you look at the fossil fuel business, that's trillions and trillions of dollars," Fugere said, noting the market is often described as a "carbon bubble."
"If world governments put a cap on carbon, you would see that bubble burst and that would throw the world economy into disarray," she said. Instead, the plan of As You Sow and other investors is to ensure "the bubble is going to be let out slowly in a way that nobody loses all their money."
As awareness of global warming has grown in recent years, a consensus has emerged that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are a leading cause. Through public pressure and the work of organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. advisory panel made up of scientists, governments have become increasingly aware of the risks associated with pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.