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Activist investment firm pushes Exxon to do more on greenhouse gas emissions

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BOSTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Investment firm Engine No. 1 onMonday reiterated its call for Exxon Mobil Corp, one ofcorporate America's most iconic brands, to slash its greenhousegas emissions to zero by 2050, according to a letter sent to thecompany.

"This is not just a climate issue but a fundamental investorissue - no different than capital allocation or managementcompensation," the firm said in the letter.

Engine No. 1 said Exxon needs board members with deep energyexpertise and insights into evolving trends to put itself on apath to net zero emissions that is sustainable and profitable.The firm has already nominated four directors to the board.

Exxon has gone from "dismissing emissions reduction goals asa ‘beauty competition’ to claiming repeatedly this month thatits emissions reductions plans are ‘consistent’ with the ParisAgreement," the investment firm said.

While Exxon, valued at $221 billion, has made changes, theydo not go far enough, said the firm, which is supported bypension fund California State Teachers' Retirement System(CalSTRS).

Exxon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent weeks, Exxon has announced several changes,including the appointment of a new board member, setting a newgoal to cut emissions and committing $3 billion over the nextfive years to carbon capture.

"The Company aims for industry-leading greenhouse gasperformance across its businesses by 2030, and recentlyannounced new emission reduction plans for 2025, which areprojected to be consistent with the goals of the ParisAgreement," it said in its 2021 Energy & Carbon Summary.

Engine No. 1 wants Exxon to do more.

"ExxonMobil only sets emission reduction plans for 2025,whereas policies aligned with the Paris Agreement target netzero emissions by 2050," the letter said.

Exxon's share price has climbed 27% since the start ofJanuary.(Reporting by Svea Herbst-BaylissEditing by Sonya Hepinstall)