Exxon agrees to detail carbon asset risks - activists

BOSTON, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:01pm EDT

BOSTON, March 20 (Reuters) - ExxonMobil Corp will report on how it views the risks climate change could pose to the value of its assets, shareholder activists said on Thursday.

The company agreed to publish a report on areas like how it assesses the risk of "stranded assets" like lower values for its oil or coal reserves if prices fall, the activists said. In return they agreed to withdraw a proposed shareholder resolution calling for such a report at Exxon's upcoming annual meeting.

An Exxon spokesman did not immediately return messages.

Activists including the As You Sow foundation and Arjuna Capital had brought the resolution, similar to those pending at other energy firms including Chevron Corp and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. [ ID : nL2N0LH0PB ]

Danielle Fugere, president of Oakland-based As You Sow, said that Exxon's move sets a standard other companies could follow. "That the largest American oil and gas company is the first to come to the table on this issue says a lot about the direction that energy markets are taking," Fugere said in a statement.

The resolution filed at Exxon cited studies suggesting that lower-than-expected demand or prices for fossil fuels might emerge in coming years, and noted possible responses to climate change like carbon regulation or market forces.

"Without additional disclosure, shareholders are unable to determine whether Exxon Mobil is adequately managing these risks or seizing related opportunities," the resolution stated.

(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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