Climate change is a defining issue of the next 20, 50, 100 years and beyond. The question, in my view, is whether corporations and governments ultimately do enough to temper alarming trends in carbon emissions. So far, efforts have fallen woefully short.
One British hedge fund billionaire is taking a new approach to bring urgency -- and the potential for financial repercussions -- into the mix. Christopher Hohn, the head of TCI Fund Management, started an initiative called "Say on Climate," which aims to use shareholder proxy fights to force companies to publish their carbon-emission reduction plans and to put them up for a shareholder vote.
Putting public companies on the spot with regards to climate seems to be an effective way to force them into taking action, for fear that investors will increasingly shy away from corporations with bad records on climate. The success of Hohn's campaign will depend on institutional investors like Vanguard and Fidelity, which hold many shares of S&P 500 companies, to wage the proxy battle at shareholder meetings. Hohn's goal is to have 100 S&P 500 companies publishing their plans for reducing emissions by 2022.
According to Hohn, "you only need to buy $25,000 of stock and hold it for one year to file a shareholder resolution in the U.S. and $2,000 in Canada,” he said. “With $12 million you can buy enough shares to file them with every company in the S&P 500.” Here's to hoping Hohn gets all 500 companies complying.
Clean energy is a clear driver of emissions reduction in the future. For investors, there are several options to consider, and Tickeron's A.I.dvisor takes a look at the Clean Energy theme below.