Sister Patricia Daly, 66, dies; He took on the corporate giants in social justice

For years, Sister Pat and other environmentalists had urged ExxonMobil to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations and products. In 2007, he proposed a resolution asking the energy giant to set a firm date to report on its progress.

“We are the most profitable company in the history of the planet,” he told Rex Tillerson, then the company’s CEO (and later secretary of state in the Trump administration), at the company’s annual meeting, ” but what will our long-term health be when we really face the regulatory and other challenges around global warming?

He added: “We are now, this company and each of us, challenged by one of the deepest moral concerns. And we have the means to respond to it.”

The proposal won 31 percent of the ballots, or about 1.4 billion shares, the largest number for a resolution on ExxonMobil’s climate change. If not an outright victory, it was a page in a decades-long narrative that led ExxonMobil to put a climate scientist on its board in 2017. Three executives who recognized the urgency of addressing climate change joined the board of the company in 2021, named by a small activist hedge fund, Engine No. 1.

“The arc of their work led us to these victories by working from the inside and the outside,” John Passacantando, founder of Ozone Action, an anti-global warming group and former executive director of Greenpeace, said in a telephone interview. . .

In 1999, Vanity Fair named her to its Hall of Fame, applauding her as someone who “translates belief into commitment and never backs down from a fight.”

Mary Beth Gallagher, who replaced Sister Pat as executive director of the Tri-State Coalition in 2017, said Sister Pat was not frustrated when her resolutions were routinely voted down.

“He lived with hope,” said Ms. Gallagher said. “We never talked about winning or losing. It was about raising awareness and educating. If we don’t ask ourselves these questions, who will?”

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