Institutional investors have filed shareholder proposals at 10 companies, asking them to assess carbon-related risk to their capital expenditure and other business operations, according to a statement Wednesday by Ceres, a group of institutional investors encouraging companies to address climate change and other sustainability issues.
The proposals have targeted Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Southern, CONSOL Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, Anadarko Petroleum, Devon Energy, Hess, Kinder Morgan and Peabody Energy.
The resolutions focus on potential carbon asset risk and the possibility that these companies' present and future fossil fuel-related assets will lose value as “market factors — such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, fuel economy, fuel switching, carbon pollution standards, efforts to curb air pollution and climate policy — increasingly threaten demand for fossil fuels and related infrastructure,” according to a statement by Ceres, which is coordinating the filings.
The $173.2 billion New York State Common, which filed the Devon Energy proposals, is in discussions with officials at the company attempting to reach a resolution, according to a spokesman for Thomas P. DiNapoli, state comptroller and sole trustee of the fund.
The $27.1 billion Connecticut pension fund filed proposals at Hess and Peabody. David S. Barrett, communications director for Denise L. Nappier, state treasurer and sole trustee of the Connecticut funds, was unable to respond by press time.
The Exxon Mobil proposal, filed by Arjuna Capital, a unit of Baldwin Brothers, states: “Investors require additional information on how Exxon Mobil is preparing for potential scenarios in which demand for oil and gas is greatly reduced due to regulation or other climate-associated drivers. Without additional disclosure, shareholders are unable to determine whether Exxon Mobil is adequately managing these risks or seizing related opportunities.” Representatives of the company couldn't be reached for comment.
New York State Common withdrew in January a similar proposal it filed at FirstEnergy after the company agreed “to adopt, in significant measure,” the terms of the non-binding resolution, according to the pension fund's spokesman. Tricia Ingraham, FirstEnergy spokeswoman, confirmed the agreement “to provide additional transparency to outline plans to reduce emissions.”