By Josh Beckerman

The California Public Employees' Retirement System said it would vote against all of Exxon Mobil's board members, saying the company's lawsuit against two sustainable investment firms could have severe repercussions.

Exxon Mobil sued Arjuna Capital and Follow This in January, seeking to block a shareholder proposal that called for Exxon Mobil to accelerate the pace of greenhouse-gas-emission reductions, including from the company itself and its customers. The company said the firms were seeking "to force Exxon Mobil to change the nature of its ordinary business or to go out of business entirely." Arjuna and Follow This withdrew the proposal.

Calpers said Monday that "decades of shareholder rights are under threat" and that, if the suit succeeds, it "could diminish the role--and the rights--of every investor in improving a company's bottom line."

Exxon Mobil said it has "engaged with CalPERS on this matter and do not understand how they can make such a poor fiduciary decision to vote against a board that has overseen the creation of industry-leading shareholder value."

"We welcome working with CalPERS and others to address issues in the shareholder proposal process," the company added.

Write to Josh Beckerman at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-20-24 1509ET