Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Green investment growing power?

Comes news today that shareholders' groups aren't happy with all that investment oil companies have done in Proposition 23. A Ceres press release says shareholder resolutions are en route at corporations that are major contributors to Proposition 23.

At Valero:

“As a religious organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association calls on all companies in which it invests to support - not undermine - public policies that reduce climate change,” said Tim Brennan, treasurer at UUA, which filed the shareholder resolution with Valero. “Our values compel us to protect the planet and to stand with marginalized people, who are disproportionately harmed by the impacts of global warming. Valero’s extraordinary support for Proposition 23 delays the country from tackling an urgent human, environmental and economic concern and puts our shareholder value at risk.”

At Tesoro:

“As shareholders, we’re concerned that Tesoro’s support for the highly controversial Proposition 23 could lead to a decrease in shareholder value by damaging the company’s reputation and negatively impacting the business environment in a state where Tesoro has significant operations,” said Laura Campos, Director of Shareholder Activities at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, which filed a shareholder resolution requesting improved disclosure and accountability on political spending at Tesoro.

And at Occidental:

“Climate change is a serious threat to our planet and economy. We are concerned that Prop 23 will remove important market signals necessary to transition to cleaner business practices,” said Larisa Ruoff, Director of Shareholder Advocacy for Green Century Capital Management, which filed the shareholder proposal at Occidental.

It's a stunt - npbody's going to do nothing about these companies' investment in political campaigns until April; long after the campaign season is over. But this kind of investment may be gaining prominence and even possibly power. Earlier this year, in January, the Investor Network on Climate Risk pushed hard to get the decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to publish interpretive guidance on reporting risks associated with climate change. In other words: there's been greater interest in holding corporate entities resonsible for their role in a changing climate and in reporting correctly how what people do affects the climate as it makes or loses money.

Do you think about climate change when you think about your investments?