ExxonMobil has been the first company to cave to a coordinated effort by non-profit sustainability advocates Ceres, which has instigated the submission of carbon asset risk proposals to 10 fossil fuel companies this year.
Sustainable wealth management company Arjuna Capital and non-profit environmental group As You Sow were behind the shareholder resolution, which spurred Exxon to agree to publish a carbon asset risk report on its website.
The report will describe how the company intends to assess the risk of stranded assets in the future, with world governments agreeing that no more than one-third of current proven carbon reserves can be burned.
Exxon has agreed to publish the report on the proviso that the involved parties withdraw their resolution.
"We're gratified that ExxonMobil has agreed to drop their opposition to our proposal and address this very real risk," Arjuna Capital director equity research and shareholder engagement Natasha Lamb said.
"Shareholder value is at stake if companies are not prepared for a low-carbon scenario."
"More and more unconventional 'frontier' assets are being booked on the balance sheet, such as deepwater and tar sands.
"These reserves are not only the most carbon intensive, risky and expensive to extract, but the most vulnerable to devaluation.
"As investors, we want to ensure our companies' capital will yield strong returns and we are not throwing good money after bad."