Customer Pushback Spurs Climate Fight
The Best Way to Fight Climate Change Comes From an Unlikely Place; Investors are pushing companies to reckon with their environmental impacts.
Carl Segerstrom, March 30, 2019 (High Country News via Mother Jones)
“…Methane leaking from oil and natural gas operations is [bad business practice] on a multi-million dollar level that also contributes to climate change…[Concerned shareholders are] trying to use the tools of capitalism to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate change…[Resistance from investors and shareholders] has a long history. During the Vietnam War, activist shareholders pushed Dow Chemical Company to stop producing napalm, throughout the 1980s investors pressured companies to divest in apartheid South Africa, and last year shareholders impelled McDonald’s to ditch polystyrene foam packaging and Costco to limit antibiotics in the meat it sells…Investors typically rely on three approaches to drive change…
The carrot is a dialogue…If that doesn’t work, investors can turn to the metaphorical sticks—non-binding resolutions voted on at annual shareholder meetings pushing a company…[But in] February, ExxonMobil asked the SEC to nix a climate-oriented shareholder resolution…That could leave investors no choice but to pull out the ax: divestment. The divestment movement claims to have pulled more than $8.5 trillion out of fossil fuel companies…[and Goldman Sachs] analysts cite the divestment movement as a reason for fossil fuel companies to reduce emissions…[The White House] has shown its allegiance to fossil fuel interests...[and] is making it as comfortable as possible for fossil fuel companies and their financiers to continue to sow climate chaos…[But] some corporations are bending to their shareholders’ will…" click here for more