Shareholder Resolutions: Evaluating Corporate Climate Change Risks At A Glance

Capabilities and Services

Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are increasingly important concerns for governments and businesses across the globe. In response to the potential for mandatory US controls on greenhouse gas emissions -- as well as emerging controls at the state and regional levels -- shareholders have introduced resolutions that call for US companies to describe how they are preparing for the possibility of a reduced greenhouse gas future. Although focused on climate change, these resolutions also raise issues related to air emissions (particularly relevant in light of recent regulations on emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury).

These resolutions -- which have been coordinated by CERES, a coalition of investor and environmental groups -- ask companies to review their practices with respect to climate change and air emissions. The issues raised by these resolutions include:

  • Concern that the company does not have the institutions and related procedures in place to evaluate properly the financial consequences of air emissions and potential climate change regulations
  • Concern that the company does not take appropriate actions to maximize shareholder value in light of current environmental regulations
  • Concern that the company is not taking appropriate actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in anticipation of potential, future regulatory requirements