"The oil industry, long a political heavyweight in Washington, suffered a
series of extraordinary blows on Wednesday after shareholders, customers and
the courts turned on the industry out of concern over climate change.
In the space of a few hours, Exxon Mobil Corp. was bested by an upstart
shareholder seeking to shake up the company’s board. Chevron Corp. investors
instructed the company to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. A Dutch court
ordered Royal Dutch Shell to slash emissions by 45 percent. And while the oil
industry was taking its hits, longtime ally Ford Motor Co. widened its distance
from fossil fuels.
“Game-changer is an overused metaphor, but surely this is one,” Environmental
Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said of the day’s events. “The policy
environment for companies has already changed and will change more.”
The rebukes signal that climate concerns, once confined to environmental
activists and barely registering with some Washington lawmakers, have become
mainstream thinking in C-suites and on Wall Street, analysts said. The visible
effects of climate change, action by governments, and shifting consumer
sentiment are transforming the world in which companies do business.
The speed of events — taking place in an industry that typically measures
change in decades — means that companies and even entire regions, including
West Texas, will have to face a reality in which will there be less demand for
their product, said Mark Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University
Via Frederick Wilson II.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics