In letters to 14 top companies, 43 investors and investment-focused organizations encouraged the companies to end the contradiction between their own policies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's and National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) positions on pending climate legislation. Each of the companies has publicly stated that it supports action on climate change, which the Chamber and NAM strongly oppose.
The investors, which include Walden Asset Management and Green Century Capital Management, have asked the companies to address their disagreement with the Chamber and NAM on climate change policy by withdrawing membership, publicly disclosing their disagreement or asking the associations to refund the portion of their dues used to lobby on the issue.
According to the letters, this "misalignment of positions" poses serious business and reputational risks to the companies. The Chamber's and NAM's "position and active voice on climate change is especially embarrassing for numerous members who are proactive leaders on reducing greenhouse gases and limiting their negative impact with respect to climate change," the letter said.
Recently, Apple, Exelon, PG&E, PNM Resources, Duke Energy and Nike resigned from the Chamber or NAM or left the Chamber's board over the associations' strident opposition to pending climate legislation. These companies are also members of coalitions that support policies to curb global warming, such as U.S. Climate Action Partnership, Businesses for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy and the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council.
"We are at a critical crossroads between a polluting, dangerous path and a clean energy future, and we believe it is now more important than ever for companies to take clear action to preserve their leadership roles on this critical issue by distancing themselves from the antagonistic lobbying of business associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers," says Emily Stone, shareholder advocate for Green Century Capital Management.
Companies that received the letter include Air Products & Chemicals, Alcoa, American Electric Power, Boeing Co., Caterpillar, Cummins, Deere & Co., DTE Energy, Entergy, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Lockheed Martin, Whirlpool and Xerox Corp.