Praxis Mutual Funds® has co-filed shareholder resolutions with four electric utilities asking them to assess how global initiatives to curb climate change will affect their business. The requested reports will clearly indicate how the companies plan to address the risks and opportunities presented by global efforts to limit climate change.
In order to meet global goals set out in the November 2016 Paris Agreement, electric utilities will need to invest significant time and money. According to estimates from the International Energy Agency, electric companies around the world will need to decrease the amount of carbon used to produce electricity by 90 percent.
The resolutions – filed with AES, DTE, Duke, and Southern Company, companies held by the Praxis Value Index Fund – ask the companies to assess the long-term impact of public policies and technological advances focused on limiting global warming. Praxis has started conversations with several other utilities as well, including American Electric Power and NiSource.
Praxis and other shareholders who co-filed with us want to hear how utilities will adjust their capital expenditure plans to align with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We’re also interested in how they plan to integrate technological, regulatory and business model innovations – such as distributed energy sources, demand response, smart grid technologies and customer energy efficiency. Another important point of discussion is how to make renewable energy accessible to more people.
Conversations with these utilities are ongoing and may lead to withdrawals of proposals or corporate policy shifts.