Southern Company resolution receives strong vote
Praxis and other investors ask company to address climate risks
Late in 2015, Praxis Mutual Funds® co-filed a resolution asking Southern Company to prepare a report sharing its strategic plans for aligning business operations with the internationally accepted goal of limiting the global warming temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.
During the company’s annual meeting in May, the resolution received 34 percent of the vote from shareholders, representing about $15 billion in investor assets. The unprecedented number of votes in favor of the resolution is increasing pressure on Southern to develop a more coherent plan to address climate risks.
The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, a group of primarily Roman Catholic institutional investors, was the lead filer of the resolution. The coalition also led a series of conversations with Southern on how it is adapting its business plan to mitigate climate risk and encourage cleaner energy. Praxis took part in these dialogues, which covered topics such as emissions reduction efforts, wind and solar energy, rate structure, and accessibility to clean energy for low-income customers.
Praxis has engaged with Southern Company as part of a new advocacy effort with electric utilities seeking to promote clean energy and low-income consumer protection. The aim of this initiative is to influence the industry to increase the use and availability of low-carbon power generation as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect long-term shareholder value and ensure affordable access to electricity for all consumers.