RiskMetrics Group Supports Climate Risk Report Resolution Filed with ONEOK
Nation's leading proxy advisor recommends passage of CalSTRS shareholder proposal
SACRAMENTO, CA – RiskMetrics Group, the nation’s leading proxy advisor, recommends investors support a shareholder resolution filed with Tulsa-based ONEOK, Inc., seeking a report on its greenhouse gas emissions.
Proposal #8, filed by California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which owns about 2 percent of ONEOK (NYSE: OKE) outstanding shares, will be voted on at ONEOK’s May 15, 2008, annual meeting. The proposal calls for a report on the feasibility of setting goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to be done by Dec. 31, 2008.
“RiskMetrics adds its significant voice to California’s teachers and strengthens our conviction that the time is right,” said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of CalSTRS. “We urge fellow ONEOK shareholders to vote FOR proposal #8 on the ONEOK proxy and send a message to the board. We need to address now the very real risk greenhouse gases present to the continued growth and profitability of the company.”
In its analysis and voting recommendations report on ONEOK, RiskMetrics cites the potential shifts in the regulatory environment and consumer demand. RiskMetrics further states it “is concerned about ONEOK’s limited disclosure on climate change and GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions issues.”
The RiskMetrics report continues by stating that in establishing quantitative GHG emissions reduction goals, it “may help the company focus its strategic initiatives to meet the challenges ahead while providing shareholders with a means to evaluate the company’s performance on this issue and assess the impact that it may have on their investment.”
The ONEOK resolution by CalSTRS is one of 55 climate change shareholder resolutions filed with U.S. companies this year. The resolutions are almost twice the number filed just two years ago and have been filed by some of the nation’s largest institutional investors as part of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, an alliance of institutional investors.
Established 95 years ago, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a $164 billion portfolio, is the second-largest public pension fund in the United States. It administers retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 813,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,400 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.