Some kind of wonderful celebration took place at Broadway’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre on January 12! Beautiful: The Carole King Musical celebrated three years on the Great White Way. The musical about Carole King’s meteoric rise began performances on November 21, 2013 and officially opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. The musical’s original headliner, Jessie Mueller, who is currently starring in Waitress through March 26, garnered a Tony Award for her performance in Beautiful. Stars Ben Jacoby, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Chilina Kennedy, Paul Anthony Stewart, Liz Larsen, Jake Epstein and the entire company gathered together to celebrate the production’s anniversary with some adorable cakes spelling out “3 Years.” Take a peek at our hot shots of Beautiful’s birthday, and catch it at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The cast of ‘Beautiful'(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) Related Shows View Comments Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 27, 2019
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Adani’s financing for its proposed Carmichael coalmine could face a further hurdle, with Westpac appearing to indicate it will not refinance its existing loan to Adani’s coal terminal at Abbot Point.A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) revealed Adani needed to refinance more than $2bn worth of loans for its Abbot Point coal terminal in the coming year – an amount that is more than it paid for the port in 2011. That means the company has negative equity on the facility – owing banks more than it is worth.The refinancing of its port comes as the company must find $5bn of loans for its Carmichael coalmine, which every Australian bank – and many international banks – have said they will not support.Moreover, the two projects are entirely linked, meaning any bank that decides to support one project is supporting the other and taking a bet on its success: the Port’s financial viability depends on coal coming from the mine, and the mine will not be able to be built without the port operating.The news that one of Adani’s major existing lenders is likely to withdraw support for Abbott Point therefore adds to ongoing doubts about the ability of the company to find financing for the controversial coalmine, and could jeopardise any potential loan it might get from the government’s $5bn Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.Westpac’s revelation came under questioning by Greens climate and energy spokesman Adam Bandt at a House of Representatives standing committee on economics.In April Westpac released its new climate policy, in which it revealed it would only lend money to projects supporting existing coal basins – not ones that opened up new coal basins. It also said it would only lend to projects that supported mining of coal that had energy content “in at least the top 15% globally”.Both rules would rule out Westpac lending to the Carmichael mine. But Westpac already lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Adani for its Abbot point terminal, and questions remained whether it would refinance that loan at the end of its term.Bandt asked Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer whether the rules would apply to existing loans for infrastructure that were required to open up new coal basins, such as Abbot Point.Unable to name any specific project or customer, Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said: “If in the end you had a piece of infrastructure that only related to financing in a new basin then that would most likely not meet our [lending] criteria.”Following the hearing, Bandt said: “Westpac’s position on infrastructure finance is another nail in the coffin of the Adani mine.”More: Abbot Point coal terminal: Westpac may not refinance Adani loan Australian Bank Indicates It Will Not Refinance Adani
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The government of Côte d’Ivoire and World Bank private sector arm the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have signed an agreement for two large-scale solar projects, with a combined generation capacity of 60 MW.The IFC said in a press release the plants will be developed as public-private partnership projects and will contribute to the country’s plan to deploy 400 MW of solar by 2030. The facilities will be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, said the IFC.“Under the agreement with Côte d’Ivoire, Scaling Solar will support the development, tendering and financing of two utility projects in the country,” read the press release. “The country has West Africa’s third largest electrical system, with an installed generation capacity of 2,200 MW.”Other utility-scale PV projects under development in Côte d’Ivoire include 66 MW and 25 MW facilities in Korhogo, in the northern Poro region and a 37.5 MW project in Boundiali department, in the northwest.The Ivory Coast has one of the highest access rates to electricity in Africa, at around 62%, and it exports power to neighbors including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Some 60% of the nation’s power comes from thermal plants and 40% from hydropower.More: Côte d’Ivoire gets World Bank support for 60 MW of solar Ivory Coast, IFC sign deal for 60MW of new solar
We are just over a week into 2013, so you have probably already broken your New Year’s resolution…and that’s ok. Don’t feel too badly, a full 75 percent of resolutions don’t survive. Goal setting is an important aspect of living a healthy, productive life but sometimes they are unrealistic, become a burden, and are better left out of your plans for the upcoming year. Some people are able to stick to their resolutions through the entire year. These people are crazy, and you can be too, with a little tweak to your approach. Instead of having cut and dry promises – saying you are going to run 50 miles a week, for example – use the resolution to frame a mindset of adventure and personal growth. A great example of this is commit yourself to taking every opportunity to “try something new” in 2013. This methodology may not have the same on-paper results you may crave, but you are definitely more likely to succeed.Take a giant step in the right direction this weekend during Winter Trail Days. Resorts across the country are offering free rentals, demos, and lessons in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, the perfect opportunity to get out there and try either if you have not had the pleasure. If you are an old pro, why not help others get involved and either volunteer or just be on hand to assist newbies.Head up to Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland on Saturday for a full day of fun activities including demos, clinics, a kids snowshoe race, bonfire and giveaways. The event runs from 9am to 5pm and clinics are first come, first served so be sure to show up early.View Larger Map
Your daily outdoor news bulletin for April 4, 2013 – the day the Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968:Pisgah Brewing Goes Non-OrganicBlack Mountain, N.C. beer maker Pisgah Brewing is bucking the trend and ditching its USDA organic certification, essentially ending the organic beer movement in Western N.C. Pisgah has brewed organic since it opened in 2005, but rule changes by the USDA – removing an exception for beer – made it difficult to continue to produce certified organic brew mainly because there are so few organic hops in the market. The good news for Pisgah is that the organic movement in brewing seems to be on the downswing, at least according to Asheville Bruisin’ Ales owner Julie Atallah, who is quoted as saying, ““Organic doesn’t mean good, and beer drinkers, on the whole, will always seek out good beer over organic beer.” That’s the truth, but the real question is: Will it still get you drunk?Yes. While this is nothing to celebrate over, it is also nothing to fret over unless you are one of those people who will not even think about putting anything in your body-temple that is not ‘orgo.’ If this be the case….drink water and save the beer for the rest of us, jerk.Riding for $1 MillionA 23-year-old Annapolis, Maryland native is going to ride his bike to 30 Major League Baseball stadiums to raise money for those who have lost their hearing. Deaf by age 10, Jacob Landis underwent a procedure for a cochlear implant that gave him back his sense of hearing. A huge baseball fan, Landis is now hoping to raise $1 million to help others with hearing problems get the same procedure. His ride will cover 10,000 miles over 175 days, taking a counterclockwise loop around the U.S. and wrapping up in Miami. This is an ambitious project and we hope Jacob the best of luck on his journey. More info can be found on his blog at www.jacobsride.com.The makers of the implant will donate $1 for every Facebook share of Jacob’s story, so log on and get to it.Ghost Rider, Requesting a Fly-ByBranching out from the Blue Ridge – way, way out – is the story of the first men to see the summit of Everest, nearly 20 years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. In 1933 David Fowler McIntyre and Douglas Douglas-Hamilton flew two sing-engine, open-air biplanes over the summit of the world’s highest peak. Pretty crazy stuff, especially considering all the hubbub the helicopter rescues from base camp garnered last climbing season. With the current 2013 climbing season just getting underway, it’s nice to reflect on the pioneers of a bygone age. Plus, the story of the flight is pretty awesome.
Unlike some other amphibian mothers who leave the “nest” quickly, this plucky green parent-to-be—all three to five inches of her—stands guard, coating her eggs with skin secretions to ward off killer bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Already, the law center has resorted to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to discover how 3.8 billion board feet will translate to logging quotas in the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest. “Even with this new timber volume goal, we will continue to manage our forests in accordance with our forest management plans,” she said, adding that healthy and resilient forests depend “on our ability to increase work on the ground and achieve better outcomes.” That give and take is what seeded more community cooperation than conflict, he said. Indeed, Trump’s order is nowhere near the peak of 12 billion board feet harvested in the late 1980s, but it would double the 2009 low of 1.9 billion. Between 2003 and 2006, the harvest climbed 62 percent, according to Forest Service numbers. And 43 percent of that came from the South, even though the region has only 6.9 percent (13 million acres) of Forest Service lands. The Forest Service should focus on connecting patches of existing old growth to preserve rare resources and help the green salamander recover, she said. “We make decisions based on the best possible science,” he continued. “Forests need diversity and all ages of trees. What’s missing from the Southside area is young forest.” A Green Salamander in North Carolina. / Photo by J.J. Apodaca Chief among their complaints are that it sacrifices too much salamander habitat by replacing mature trees with early successional forests that deer, turkey, bear, rabbit, and other game species count on and hunters favor. It’s shameful, Evans said, when the Forest Service doesn’t have a big enough budget to devote the proper number of biologists, botanists, and other staffers to conduct proper scientific studies. Apodaca and Evans emphasize that as conservation science has evolved, where the Forest Service cuts trees matters hugely. And choosing those places means dedicating time, care, and resources to getting it right. Hayler said the Forest Service’s use of the word “designated” misleads the public because right now such trees are much too young to qualify as old growth—and might never. But Forest Service spokeswoman Cathy Dowd said the agency sees the executive order as beneficial for tackling wildfires, invasive species, insects, disease and other land management challenges. Trump’s New Timber Rule Threatens the Future of Our National Forests Meanwhile, the Forest Service is proceeding with several timber management projects presented in that preliminary draft. Those include the Twelve Mile, Southside. and the Buck logging projects. Each spring, green salamanders emerge from their winter hideouts deep in rock crevices and climb giant, native trees. Grooved barks and hollows provide refuges as they dart about feasting on insects. By late summer, females retreat to the rocks, scouting out perfect hidden chambers for egg-laying. Wilkins expects to start the Southside timber projects in 2021. Dowd, the Forest Service spokeswoman, didn’t directly answer a question about whether a mandate to significantly increase logging would compromise biodiversity in the Southern Appalachians. Nobody outside the agency can say exactly what Trump’s executive order means for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest. But Apodaca and Evans are paying close attention because the Forest Service is on the cusp of releasing a draft plan that spells out how those 1.1 million acres in North Carolina will be managed over the next 30 years. “These collaborative engagement tools are useful because they create a framework where all participants can have an opportunity … to learn,” he said. “My key takeaway is the trust and partnership that have been elevated.” “All agencies are supposed to be accountable to the public,” he said. “Shorting public participation in the name of increasing board feet can create bitter social conflicts. That’s what is at stake.” “You can’t design an activity to benefit one resource without affecting another, so you have to keep all of them in mind.” “We have to take a stand for the things we care about on public lands,” said Apodaca, director of science for the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy. “The choice we have as a society is: do we value biodiversity or do we just value timber production?” Will rare salamanders be lost to the cut? They are also upset that logging is proposed on some sensitive areas that could be recommended as wilderness areas in the 30-year plan. Ring counts revealed trees that qualify as old growth. For instance, a white oak on Brushy Mountain was found to be at least 211 years old. In Granite City, the students found a 127-year-old white oak and a 145-year-old northern red oak. A separate core sample revealed a 180-year-old red oak. “We understand the concern some have about these new authorities,” she said about what the agency considers a new tool “to help us accomplish our mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests.” The Forest Service released a preliminary draft of the Nantahala-Pisgah plan in 2014. Immediately, there was widespread opposition to the Forest Service’s proposals for logging in remote areas with high concentrations of old growth and rare habitats. However, when more money is shifted to fill the timber sales pipeline quickly, everything else, from public participation to trails to research, is squeezed. “We’re headed for exactly that, if you look at the trend line,” said Evans, who leads the law center’s national forests and parks program. “And as the Forest Service ramps up, the biggest tragedy is the hit to its reputation. It will not recover for decades.” Evans called Twelve Mile, a 20,000-acre project in Haywood County, N.C., one that “would pass muster as a good plan.” A portion of it involves improving elk habitat, and it’s adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Interstate 40. They are alarmed that the order instructs the Forest Service to undermine the scientific review, public participation, and oversight that keeps trees standing and salamanders thriving. One reason the conservancy, founded in Clayton, Ga., in 1994, opposes tree cutting laid out in the Southside project is because of potential harm to the watershed of the Chattooga, a wild and scenic river that flows from North Carolina. Apodaca wonders how many people are aware that the Southern Appalachians are the world’s salamander capital. He aligns with author Barbara Kingsolver’s idea that if the region designed a flag, the amphibian should be its centerpiece. Evans praised Jason Herron, the Twelve Mile project lead, for adhering to what should be the agency’s guiding principles of transparency, accountability and public participation—ones that the executive order is intent on shredding. In the Southeast, where such catastrophic fires are extremely rare, the order is seen as a ruse to promote unsustainable logging in one of the country’s prime timber baskets. Yes, the region has plenty of dry, south-facing slopes, but wildfires in what’s classified as temperate rain forest are generally localized and don’t run amok. Local conservationists say the loophole-laden order will be a mammoth setback to hard-fought gains sought to balance preservation of natural resources, recreational access, and livelihoods in local communities. A Forest Service guidance document defines the minimum age for old growth in the South as between 120 and 140 years, depending on species mix, moisture, fire risk and other factors. Hayler said she understands that. Her concern is with a section of existing old growth targeted for cutting that is roughly 1,500 feet from the rocky landscape, and considered part of the Granite City area. “The money has to come from somewhere, so they spend less by taking shortcuts,” Evans said. “The science of ecological forest management takes a lot of staff time and it’s really hard when it’s complicated by rare species and the interests of lots of recreational users. Southside receives all-around thumbs down Last fall, two student researchers at the Highlands Biological Station, which is affiliated with the University of North Carolina, took core samples of trees in sections of 26-acre Brushy Mountain and 20-acre Granite City. That tender, protective act is just one reason Apodaca is speaking up for saving this at-risk species, now being considered for endangered status. He fears a little-noticed Trump administration directive to the U.S. Forest Service to log more board feet of timber threatens the salamanders’ very existence. “We have to take a stand for the things we care about on public lands. The choice we have as a society is: do we value biodiversity or do we just value timber production?” – J.J. Apodaca, Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy Herron said he expects to release the Twelve Mile environmental analysis for public comment in April or May. The project calls for trees to be cut on about 2,400 acres; roughly 1,900 of those acres involve commercial timber sales. Critics say these “bad tradeoffs” are a precursor for what will unfold in the Southern Appalachians, especially when an underfunded Forest Service is directed to harvest more board feet. Apodaca, the amphibian expert who spoke up for the silent salamander as the Southside project was shaped, said Trump’s executive order will mute people’s voices, too. Studies show that the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest is home to roughly 90,000 acres of the estimated 250,000 acres of old-growth forest left standing in the Southern Appalachians. Many of those trees have lived well beyond 140 years. “For all the rhetoric about wildfire, the Forest Service is going to look for rich, moist forests that grow big trees. And those are in the South,” said Sam Evans, an attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Asheville office since 2011. “This will take a toll on our forests.” What also upsets Apodaca is that plenty of board feet could be harvested elsewhere in the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest that wouldn’t put the squeeze on at-risk species. Be it salamander, newt, frog or toad, Asheville biologist J.J. Apodaca professes to be equally protective of all amphibians. Any conversation about defining old growth trees, never mind forests, is tricky, especially in a region denuded of so many trees before the Forest Service started managing Pisgah in 1916 and Nantahala in 1920. Buzz Williams using an increment borer to collect a core sample from a representative tree in the old growth stand on Brushy Mountain. / Photo by Nicole Hayler Wilkins countered that the 16 stands identified for regeneration or thinning, which include Brushy Mountain and Granite City, “do not meet the definition of old growth. They have some old trees, but they are all stands that display evidence of past management activity.” Wilkins pointed out that close to 7,000 acres—more than one-third of the 19,000 acres comprising Southside—are set aside as designated old growth. Within a decade, 11,000 acres will be at least 100 years old and moving toward old growth, he says. Any conversation about managing old growth circles back to the green salamander. Granted, the students didn’t have time to sample every tree, she said, but even their limited data proved that Wilkins wasn’t diligent enough about conducting on-the-ground science. Everybody loses when a district ranger can’t—or won’t—take the time to conduct comprehensive green salamander surveys before rolling out projects such as Southside, says Apodaca. At best, he said, the information presented was cursory, inaccurate, and inadequate. Twelve Mile Project exceeds expectations Skirting transparency required by long-hallowed rules such as the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Protection Act in the name of expediency would be wrong, Evans said. Such intense pushback prompted planners to promise a reboot, but conservationists say the agency has adopted a culture of secrecy during the do-over. “Basically, the Forest Service would be able do what they want to do. If we get wind of what’s going on, the only way we could intervene is to take them to federal court,” Evans said. “There would be no conversation and no chance to comment.” Beginning in summer 2016, the agency invited interested parties to a series of Twelve Mile meetings and field trips. Herron said the gatherings allowed participants to parse out conflicts, data needs, and partnership possibilities. Press him hard enough, however, and he reveals a soft spot for the green salamander. Over millennia, these ancient, lungless vertebrates have created an intricate relationship with old growth, temperate rain forests of the Southern Appalachians. The Fight for Old Growth “Lately, they haven’t shared anything substantive,” Evans said. “I think that’s a mistake. You can’t get buy-in without getting feedback from the public.” The executive order, quietly rolled out four days before Christmas in the name of curbing wildfires, calls on the Forest Service to boost its nationwide timber output by 31 percent—to 3.8 billion board feet from the 2.9 billion cut in 2017. Globally, the region is valued as a biodiversity hotspot, a wildlife corridor, a drinking water source, and a haven for paddlers, hikers, and bicyclists. What Evans finds promising is how it calls for “cutting trees in the right places” instead of going after old growth trees and areas valued for recreation and natural heritage. “The big picture is that the Forest Service knows how to do all of this the right way and do it well,” Evans said. “It’s when it chases bad and controversial work that it shuts down relationships between people and the land.” “They just need to be left alone,” Hayler said about those trees. After decades of suppressing wildfires, the Southeast has adopted a strategy of restoring historic, natural fire regimes via prescribed burns on private and public lands. It’s these controlled fires—not logging—that reduce fuel loads in forests and keep fire-dependent ecosystems such as the long-leaf pine healthy. “The idea of a buffer pays lip service to a rare species rather than paying attention to its full recovery,” Apodaca says. “All you’re doing is creating a postage stamp of a zoo for salamanders. It’s a myopic view of species management.” He also said that no timber management is planned for Granite City proper because the boulder field popular with visitors has been “set aside for recreation and visuals.” Transparency and accountability cast aside “The Southside project does not diminish the old-growth character of the analysis area,” he said. “We have to ramp up protection in these areas, not open them up to more extraction,” Hayler said. Her conservancy is afraid that the 30-year-plan won’t adequately protect existing old growth because input is coming from the same Forest Service managers that approved Southside. Like the law center, the nonprofit Chattooga Conservancy is part of the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership. The partnership is a cross-section of local stakeholders offering the Forest Service specific recommendations as the 30-year plan is shaped. For instance, she said it’s ecologically unsound for iconic landmarks such as 3,500-foot Brushy Mountain and an area near the Granite City boulder field to be included among the 16 separate areas across 317 Southside acres that will be logged to make way for early successional habitat. Elizabeth H. McGowan is a longtime energy and environment reporter who lives in Washington, D.C. She won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013. It’s the “where” that matters “I’m not saying it is all perfect, but I watched how hard Jason worked to get this project right,” Evans said. “I’m really impressed with the care the Forest Service took to incorporate feedback.” “If you want more board feet, that will trickle down to amphibians and all the other goals and priorities people value public lands for,” he continued. “It’s hard but not impossible to manage all of these things concurrently.” After forests re-grew, citizens became fiercely protective of their incomparable natural resources. That’s partially why public blowback to the last Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan, released in 1987, was so ferocious. It called for volumes of clear-cutting that were even opposed by counties with long histories of timber-based economies. The Forest Service responded to that outcry by scaling the practice way, way back. Wilkins said that although he was “disappointed we could not make everyone happy,” trade-offs are part of the process. Executive Director Nicole Hayler wants Southside to be withdrawn until the new Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan is in place because she says the project doesn’t preserve enough existing old growth and is based on outdated and inadequate science. Still, the jump from 2.9 billion board feet in 2017 to 3.4 billion in 2018 has Evans on edge because it mimics an uptick during the middle of George W. Bush’s two-term presidency. “If we raise concerns and still these projects are pushed through anyway, why even have public comment?” he asked. On the other hand, Evans joins most conservationists with his lack of enthusiasm for the Southside projects environmental assessment completed in mid-February by Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins. The project’s 19,000 public acres are east of Highlands, straddling Macon and Jackson counties. “Salamanders are to Southern Appalachia what the buckeye is to Ohio,” he said. “It’s part of our natural history that we should value and cherish.” Apodaca, the scientist, knows that logging big old trees too close to known salamander populations will limit the amphibians’ access to mates, thus leading to inbreeding and die-offs. Massive losses of chestnuts and hemlocks have already added to the creature’s habitat woes. While Wilkins’ vow to leave 328-foot buffers of trees around rocky outcrops sounds promising, scientists said such buffers will instead dry out the forest as rhododendrons and other shrubby plants grow in the clearings. Tragically, industrial-scale clear-cutting at the turn of the 20th century was intense. After logs were floated down rivers and loaded onto trains, denuded mountainsides eroded and rootless soil cascaded into waterways, destroying habitat for fish, birds, amphibians, mammals and other species. Ecologists view the order as a smokescreen. Out West, logging isn’t an antidote for huge, intense, and deadly wildfires. Thinning might make sense near homes, fire specialists say, but cutting trees won’t halt fires when weather extremes caused by climate change are becoming the norm.
continue reading » NCUA’s latest Letter to Credit Unions (20-CU-17) provides an update to the agency’s offsite examination and supervision approach due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. According to NCUA, the changes to NCUA’s examination and supervision approach are effective June 1.NCUA’s offsite policy for all employees and contracted support staff will remain in effect until further notice. Generally, NCUA staff will not schedule onsite examination work until further notice.Examiners will also be mindful of the impact information requests may have on a credit union experiencing operational and staffing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.NCUA will issue examination reports for examinations completed offsite. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NCUA headquarters
Indonesia’s digital competitiveness stagnated this year as the country continues to struggle to provide internet connection in remote areas. Indonesia ranks far below neighboring countries Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.The Institute for Management Development (IMD) released on Thursday its latest Global World Digital Competitiveness Index, which ranks Indonesia 56th this year, the same as last year. That compares with second, 26th and 39th place held by Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.“Indonesia has improved in the future readiness factor, including increased e-participation and online retailing. However, the improvement is counterbalanced by a drop in the level of investment in telecommunication and low internet penetration,” the report says.Read also: Online groceries thrive as customers avoid supermarket Log in with your social account https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net… Forgot Password ? Google Linkedin Facebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : digital competitiveness digital-divide connectivity ASEAN Indonesia
BLOG: Governor Wolf and First Lady Wolf Wish Happy Holidays to Troops Overseas (VIDEO) December 24, 2015 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter First Lady Frances Wolf, Holidays, The Blog, Videos Watch Governor Wolf and First Lady Wolf wish happy holidays to troops overseas. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolf
“To remain successful in a low-carbon world, companies must act today, aligning their capital decision with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and setting stretching targets,” she said.“We are seeing many of Exxon’s peers step up, and reaffirm their sustainability ambitions even amid the current testing circumstances. The world, and Exxon’s investors, cannot afford the company to fall behind.”Earlier this year LGIM announced a tougher stance on CEO and board chair positions being combined, as a result of which it would vote against combined roles in director elections globally.LGIM will also be supporting a shareholder proposal for an independent chair and a shareholder resolution for increased transparency on political lobbying.Last month Church Commissioners for England and New York State Common Retirement Fund wrote an open letter to ExxonMobil shareholders asking them to call for change at the company with their votes.The Church Commissioners tried again to get a climate change-related shareholder resolution onto the ExxonMobil AGM agenda, but it was, also again, blocked by the Securities and Exchange Commission.ExxonMobil’s AGM will be held on 27 May.Fossil fuel financingPre-declaring voting intentions has already featured this AGM season in relation to a company’s positioning with regard to climate change.Brunel Pension Partnership and Merseyside Pension Fund, two important UK local authority investors, did so in the case of Barclays, which faced two climate changed-related resolutions at its AGM last week.One of them was a shareholder resolution co-filed by Brunel and Merseyside among others. Calling on the bank to set and disclose targets to phase out the provision of financial services to fossil fuel companies, it got 24% of the vote.The other proposal came from the bank itself following shareholder pressure. Passed with 99.9% of the vote, it commits the bank to a strategy, with targets, for aligning its financing portfolio with the goals of the Paris agreement and comprises a pledge to be emissions neutral by 2050.Brunel and Merseyside had pre-declared their intention to support both resolutions in a bid to get other asset owners to do the same.“We hoped to see both resolutions pass, but are pleased to see that votes for the shareholder resolution (23.95%) exceeded the 20% threshold that requires the bank to consult with shareholders and explain the views received and actions taken publicly within six months,” said Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel after the AGM.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Concerns about ExxonMobil’s approach to climate change have contributed to driving the UK’s largest asset manager to pre-declare its intention to vote against the re-election of the chair of the oil and gas major’s board of directors, who is also the chief executive officer.Pre-declaring its voting intention was an “unusual step” for it to take, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) said in a statement.It said Exxon had shown “persistent refusal” to disclose its full carbon footprint and set company-wide emission targets, while a growing number of its peers and countries were embracing the concept of needing to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.Meryam Omi, head of sustainability and responsible investment strategy at LGIM, said the asset manager remained concerned by Exxon’s “lack of strategic ambition around climate change”.