U.S. and Canadian companies face 95 global-warming shareholder proposals from CalSTRS and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, among other institutional investors, according to Ceres, a coalition focusing on corporate environmental issues.
The proposals represent a 40% increase from the number filed last year.
The proposals were filed this year at 82 companies and seek disclosure of regulatory, legal, reputational and other risks from global warming.
The $131.1 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Sacramento, filed a proposal at ConocoPhillips seeking more disclosure on the environmental impact of its Canadian oil sands operations.
Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state Comptroller and sole trustee of the $129.4 billion New York state pension fund, Albany, filed climate proposals on behalf of the pension fund at CONSOL Energy Inc. and KBR Inc.
In addition to the 95 proposals, the New York fund filed proposals at Chesapeake Energy Corp., XTO Energy Inc., Range Resources Corp., Hess Corp., and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. seeking disclosure about the environmental impact of their natural gas extraction, according to a statement March 4 from his office.
Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS CEO, said in the Ceres statement that the interpretative guidance issued by the SEC on Jan. 27 to corporations on climate change disclosure “outlines exactly the kind of action we have been asking our portfolio companies to take with regards to the issues raised by climate change. It fits with our role as a long-term investor focused on providing lasting value.”
Mr. DiNapoli said in the Ceres statement, “Investors cannot remain silent to the threats of global climate change, which has the potential to negatively impact businesses and their long-term profitability.”
Ceres’ coalition includes pension funds, other institutional investors and other groups.