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ExxonMobil: Do the right thing! Act now to help achieve a climate treaty in Paris 2015!
ExxonMobil should immediately donate to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as one of the main mechanisms for multilateral financing of climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. Since ExxonMobil is so wealthy, its CEO may be able to make a comparatively large donation to the fund without a shareholder vote. Otherwise the corporation could make a smaller donation, explain why its donation cannot (for legal or other reasons) be larger, and campaign for other private organizations and individuals to make donations to the GCF.
Why is this important?
Achieving a climate treaty this December depends on whether enough assistance will be offered to the countries that will suffer most from the consequences of climate change. Developed countries pledged in 2009 to arrange financing of $100bn per year by 2020, but according to an analysis by the World Resources Institute published in October, 2015, $14 billion per year is now lacking. A recent study shows that 90 companies caused 63% of total industrial carbon dioxide and methane emissions since 1854 (half of which dates to 1986), and traces 18.7% of total emissions to seven companies including ExxonMobil (Climatic Change, January, 2014). Among these seven, ExxonMobil stands out because of its climate-change misinformation campaign and other efforts to impede establishment of emissions-reducing laws and policies. Former Exxon CEO Lee R. Raymond said in 1997 that "the most pressing environmental problems of the developing nations are related to poverty, not global climate change." The two problems are now closely related. As Oxfam states on its website, climate change hits poor communities hardest, despite the fact that "the carbon footprint of the world’s one billion poorest people represents just 3 percent of the global total." If current CEO Rex Tillerson agrees with Raymond about poverty or agrees with Ken Cohen, his company's spokesperson (who has more than once written on the company's website that "the risks of climate change are real and the risks warrant action"), then he should quickly do everything he can to ensure achievement of a climate treaty.