CalPERS drums up support for climate change resolution at Occidental ahead of AGM

Leading investor has written to fellow investors 30 times this year on sustainability issues

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is calling on fellow shareowners of Occidental Petroleum to back a resolution it has co-filed requiring the company to report on environmental risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

The resolution – co-filed by CalPERS and other investors, including Wespath Investment Management and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, plus New York State and Connecticut pension funds – goes to the vote at Occidental’s AGM tomorrow.

“This is about transparency and sustainability,” said Anne Simpson, CalPERS investment director, sustainability at the $316bn fund. “CalPERS is calling on companies like Occidental to inform their investors about how they are positioned for the transition to a low carbon energy future.”

The proposal to Occidental would request an assessment of the company’s portfolio under the “2 Degree Scenario.” This assessment would include:

  • Long-term impacts due to climate change;
  • Short and long-term financial risks of a lower carbon economy;
  • Evaluation of resources based on changes to demand and pricing; and
  • Public policy positions relating to climate changeCalPERS has written 30 letters (identified by the SEC designation PX14A6G) to fellow investors since March 27 calling for their support for sustainability resolutions at US companies. It has rallied support, for example, for climate change reporting proposals at Devon Energy and Hess Corporation. Just yesterday it teamed up with the New York City Pension Funds to call for proxy access at Netflix.

It its previously issued a letter to investors to muster support for climate change reporting at Exxon Mobil, a proposal it co-filed with a coalition of other large asset owners assembled by lead filers New York State Common Retirement Fund and Church of England.

It comes as CalPERS peer fund CalSTRS has released its latest sustainability report, Global Stewardship at Work. It’s the third time it has published the report, which is based on the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines.

Meanwhile, campaign group As You Sow has called for support for its resolution calling for a report on methane emissions at Exxon Mobil.