This large number of proxy proposal well surpasses last year’s figure of 22, according to the group. Success last year was mixed, with the highest support level coming in at 37%. However, seven of these resolutions were withdrawn because companies agreed to undertake climate risk assessments and committed to specific greenhouse reduction targets, according to the group.
The targets of the resolution range from oil and gas companies to real estate firms, as well as electric power producers, manufacturers, financial institutions and automakers. Some of the most prominent names facing the proxy votes this year will be General Motors, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Health Care Property Investors, and JP Morgan Chase & Co.
The shareholder resolutions are being brought by some of the most prominent pension funds in the country, with shareholder filers having more than $250 billion assets in total. The New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and the State of Connecticut Retirement Fund all are taking the lead with the initiatives. A number of religious funds are also joining the fray, according to Ceres.
Many of the resolutions are aimed at garnering greater disclosure on how companies are responding to and preparing for rising regulatory pressure to reduce greenhouse gases, according to the group. With many of the companies targeted running international operations, a large number of them will have to comply with the recently implemented Kyoto accords which apply in many other countries, but not in America.
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