(Bloomberg) -- Norway’s $1.6 trillion wealth fund plans to vote next week against the election of Exxon Mobil Corp. Director Joseph Hooley after the oil and gas giant filed a lawsuit against climate-focused shareholders.

Norges Bank Investment Management voiced concern about the potential impact of litigation against investors for simply submitting a shareholder proposal. The fund said in a statement Friday that it will continue to engage with Exxon on the topic.

Calpers, the largest state public pension fund in the US, issued a similar statement on May 20, saying that Exxon is undermining shareholder rights. The oil company sued two environmental activist investors earlier this year, accusing them of abusing the shareholder-proposal process. When the investors withdrew their proposals, Exxon opted to continue legal proceedings, asking the courts to provide more clarity on how the Securities and Exchange Commission interprets its own rules.

Read More: Exxon Feels the Heat as More Investors Assail Climate Conduct

At the end of last year, NBIM held a 1.35% stake in Exxon valued at more than $5 billion. The fund issues its voting intentions five days ahead of annual general meetings. It agreed with Exxon management on three of four shareholder proposals and all but two elections to the company’s board.

The fund, established to invest Norway’s oil and gas wealth, said it would vote against management on a proposal that calls on Exxon to report median and adjusted pay gaps across race and gender.

Separately, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander’s office is voting against the election of Exxon Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods and Hooley, said a person with knowledge of the decision. The vote is on behalf of the police pension fund, one of five retirement plans that the city operates. A spokeswoman for Lander declined to comment.

Backing Exxon is a group that includes financial officers from 19 states, ranging from Alabama to Wisconsin. They wrote to 18 of the world’s largest investment firms, urging them to uphold their fiduciary duty and support Exxon’s board. The state officials said activists are “flooding corporate proxy statements with politically motivated proposals thinly veiled as business risk-mitigation measures.”

--With assistance from Saijel Kishan.

(Adds New York City pension fund and financial officers in the last two paragraphs)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.