New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States, has agreed to produce a climate change risk assessment that includes an analysis of the Paris Agreement's goals.
"Duke Energy is listening to its shareholders who need to know how the company is preparing to address the risks and opportunities presented by the worldwide efforts to mitigate climate change," said DiNapoli. "Climate change, and the fight to combat it, pose significant risks for the energy sector's long-term value, but forward-thinking companies are adapting with new strategies that embrace low-carbon technologies, grid modernization and renewable energies. Shareholders look forward to learning how Duke Energy will align its long-term planning with efforts to reduce global warming."
The shareholder proposal filed by DiNapoli on behalf of the state Common Retirement Fund (Fund) asked Duke Energy, and other companies at which it was filed, to analyze how the Paris Agreement's goal of restricting global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will impact their business. Under the agreement, Duke Energy will produce its climate risk assessment in the first quarter of 2018.
The Fund holds shares of Duke Energy with an estimated market value of $147,823,325 as of Dec. 31, 2017.
DiNapoli recently reached similar agreements with ExxonMobil and PPL Corporation after winning strong shareholder support at their annual meetings.
DiNapoli continues to urge energy companies to address climate change related concerns. The proposals filed by the Fund request that the corporations explain how they will adjust to the goals of the Paris Agreement, that they commit to using palm oil certified to have been harvested without links to deforestation and that they take steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with an estimated $201.3 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30, 2017. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.