Record Number Of Climate And Corporate Political Spending Resolutions Dominate 2016 Shareholder Votes

As Election Shifts Into High Gear, Political Activity of Companies Is a Major Focus

Mar 08, 2016, 14:33 ET from As You Sow

OAKLAND, Calif., March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the international climate summit recently concluded and the 2016 election process now well underway, "Paris and politics" will frame much of this year's proxy season, according to Proxy Preview 2016, released today by As You Sow, the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2), and Proxy Impact.  The 198 climate/energy and political activity resolutions account for more than half of this year's 370 shareholder resolutions.

Online at, the report concludes:

  • More 2016 shareholder proposals than ever address climate change -- 94 compared with 82 in 2015.  Twenty-two ask extraction companies to detail how they will respond if governments follow through Paris climate treaty commitments. A further 18 resolutions focus on the risks of hydraulic fracturing, including 12 seeking methane reduction targets. Nineteen ask companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.  
  • Political activity accounts for another 99 resolutions, including some drawing connections between climate change inaction and corporations' lobbying and election spending. Proposals on lobbying (55) exceed those about election spending (40).  Nine companies face resolutions seeking oversight and disclosure of both election and lobbying expenditures. 

As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar said: "In this Paris-meets-politics year, the growing integration of issues for shareholder advocacy is apparent like never before.  We see political spending intertwined with climate change and sustainability directly linked to CEO pay.  Investors want companies to take a broad, systemic look at their policies and how they affect responsible action in the broader economy."

Michael Passoff, CEO, Proxy Impact; and co-author of Proxy Preview 2016, said: "Shareholders are saying what politicians won't:  We must transform the energy sector, but money in politics is preventing that.  Shareholders are stepping in where Congress fears to tread -- demanding that companies prepare for climate change and come clean on political spending."

Heidi Welsh, executive director, Si2 and co-author of Proxy Preview 2016, said: "This year also highlights the increasingly clear connections between human rights problems and climate change disruption, and how companies can avoid obvious risks in conflict zones and global supply chains."

The full text of this news release is available at

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