Announcement by Walden Asset Management:
In the wake of the Obama Administration’s August 3, 2015 announcement on its Clean Power Plan to combat climate change, over 60 investors and organizations sent a letter to approximately 50 companies that are on the Board or are prominent members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”), a vigorous opponent of the plan that is orchestrating a broad-based strategy to block new regulations.
The letter urged companies to address any misalignment between their own positions and actions on climate change and their funding of the Chamber’s actions against the Clean Power Plan, regulations widely seen as critical to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Signed by investors representing more than $320 billion in assets, the letter was sent to companies such as Abbott, Anthem, AT&T, Chevron, Deloitte, Dow Chemical, Emerson Electric, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor Company, Google, IBM, Intel, JPMorgan Chase, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, United Parcel Service, and Verizon.
“In the interest of protecting long-term shareholder value, it’s high time for companies to stop acquiescing and step up in support of plausible approaches that will move the United States toward a carbon constrained society. To do otherwise, amounts to a penny wise and pound foolish stance as if the business implications of climate change start and end at a company’s doorstep. Effective risk management requires a holistic approach to addressing climate change solutions,” said Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, principal fiduciary of the $30 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and a signatory to the letter.
The letter does not request that companies drop their membership in the Chamber. Instead, the companies are asked to use their leverage and voice as Board participants and prominent members of the Chamber to encourage the organization to step back from its campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan and publicly distance their companies from the Chamber’s current actions.