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GOVERNANCE

CalPERS, other pension funds call for climate change disclosure at Occidental

CalPERS is urging Occidental Petroleum Corp. shareholders to vote in favor of a climate change disclosure proposal at the company's annual meeting Friday.

The proposal, filed by the $318.9 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, and $31.5 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, Hartford, among other investors, requests that Occidental Petroleum provide an assessment of the company's portfolio under the 2-degrees scenario, the concept of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

Included in the assessment would be the long-term impacts on the company's portfolio due to climate change; the short- and long-term financial risks of a lower carbon economy; an evaluation of resources based on changes to demand and pricing; and public policy positions on climate change, according to a Wednesday news release from CalPERS, which holds 3.4 million shares of Occidental stock valued at about $208 million.

The C$175.6 billion ($128.6 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan; $202.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $189.4 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; C$287.3 billion Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; and the $133.2 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin, are all voting in favor of the climate change disclosure proposal, according to their proxy-voting disclosures.

"This is about transparency and sustainability," said Anne Simpson, CalPERS' investment director, sustainability, in the release. "CalPERS is calling on companies like Occidental to inform their investors about how they are positioned for the transition to a low-carbon energy future."

In its proxy statement, Occidental urged investors to vote against the proposal, arguing that it is already working on expanding its climate-related disclosures.