Greg Rogers writes:
In the world of corporate finance and law, information is “material” (and must be disclosed) if there is a substantial likelihood that a ‘reasonable investor’ would attach importance to it in determining whether to buy or sell a company’s stocks or bonds. There is no bright line rule for what is material, and corporate managers and attorneys have long had ample room to argue that climate change is immaterial because its financial impacts are too uncertain or too remote in time to significantly affect current stock prices.In 2017 this rationale began to crumble. In 2018 it will collapse entirely.
He refers to the support for shareholder proposals on this issue (some supported by the 5050 Climate Project, where VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow serves on the board) and lists several other developments that will push for better disclosure including one we’ve mentioned before:
When President Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, he united the other nations of the world in a battle against climate change. Trump also sent a clear message to captains of industry: business can’t depend on government when it comes to climate change. As Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, put it in a tweet, “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”