Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner is joining shareholders across the country in demanding that energy companies disclose information about climate change policies, risks and lobbying expenses.
"As the Ocean State, Rhode Island has a critical interest in the sustainability of our environment. We are sending the message to companies in which we invest that we are still in the fight to address the global climate crisis and that we expect them to adopt responsible, sustainable practices" said Treasurer Magaziner.
This year, more than one hundred publicly-traded companies received shareholder proposals requesting greater disclosure. Specifically, energy company investors are seeking information about how executives are planning for risks related to climate change or using money to influence lawmakers on climate-related measures.
State-by-state lobbying disclosure requirements are irregular or even absent. This makes it impossible for shareholders to assess whether a company's lobbying is consistent with its expressed goals and in the best interests of shareholders.
Treasurer Magaziner today will ask shareholders of Devon Energy to vote in favor of a proposal which demands that the company disclose information on its lobbying expenses. His office co-filed similar proposals on lobbying disclosure with Chevron, ConocoPhilips, and ExxonMobil.
Last week, Rhode Island Treasury joined ExxonMobil shareholders in passing a shareholder proposal calling on the company to publish a detailed analysis of the risks that climate change may pose for the company. The proposal passed with sixty-two percent of shareholders voting in favor.
This victory comes on the heels of President Trump's widely-criticized announcement that his administration intends to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement by 2021.
In response, thousands of states, companies, investors and community leaders, including Treasurer Magaziner, have issued a resounding response that the organizations they represent intend to continue to honor the terms of the Paris agreement, which has signed by an overwhelming majority of nations since its inception in 2015.
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