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Investors making progress with climate-related resolutions at US companies – Ceres

Sustainability advocacy group tallies AGM resolutions

Investors in US companies forged ahead with their resolutions on various climate-related issues during this year’s annual meeting season, according to a tally from sustainability advocacy group Ceres.

There was a near-record 110 shareholder motions at 94 on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), flaring, fossil fuel reserve risks and other climate matters, Ceres said.
More than 40 resolutions were withdrawn by proponents after the companies made positive commitments to reduce emissions, gas flaring and fracking impacts.
There were votes as high as 38% in favour of proposals calling for oil and gas companies to set methane emission reduction goals. The first ever resolutions on fossil fuel reserve risks (“carbon bubble”) garnered up to 22% support.
Ceres tracks the resolutions on its website here.

“The strength of this year’s proxy season shows unwavering investor concern about how companies, especially energy companies, are managing the profound climate-related risks of fossil fuel production, including traditional and unconventional oil and gas extraction,” said Ceres President Mindy Lubber.

Various other extractives firms were “not responsive” to shareholder proposals on fracking impacts, and those resolutions received strong investor support at the AGMs: Exxon (30%), Chevron (31%) and Pioneer Natural Resources (32%).

Some of the highlights identified by Ceres are listed below:Flaring
Company: Continental Resources which agreed to reduce or eliminate flaring.
Filer: Mercy Investment Services.

Hydraulic Fracturing/Water Impacts
Companies: EOG Resources, Ultra Petroleum and Cabot Oil & Gas (resolutions withdrawn)
Filers: New York State Comptroller and Green Century.

Fossil Fuel Asset Risks
Companies: CONSOL Energy and Alpha Natural Resources.
Filers: As You Sow and the Unitarian Universalist Association (22% and 18% support, respectively).

Fugitive Methane Emissions
Companies: Spectra Energy, ONEOK and Range Resources.
Filer: Trillium Asset Management (35%, 38% and 21% support).

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Company: DTE Energy (withdrawn)
Filer: New York State Comptroller’s Office.

Board Oversight of Environmental and Social Matters
Companies: Denbury Resources and Range Resources, both committed to enhance board oversight of environmental and social matters.
Filer: Calvert Investments.