Pushing the Low-Carbon Energy Transition

Power StationBy Danielle Fugere, President and Chief Counsel

As You Sow has been a leader in flagging risk and prompting energy companies to re-evaluate their business models as the energy market moves inexorably toward low carbon, renewable energy resources and technologies.  We filed the first CAR resolution in 2013 and over 20 energy-based resolutions this year, consistently engaging with some of the largest energy producers — from Exxon to Southern Company — seeking recognition of risk and movement toward lower carbon, lower cost energy sources. Our energy resolutions this season focused on a range of issues, from carbon asset risk, to low-carbon transition planning, to increased use of renewables, to methane leak reduction, to reducing the harmful effects of coal on public health. Our work in flagging risk and demanding responsive action — in concert with a host of other shareholders, scholars, and experts — is beginning to bear fruit. The oil and gas companies we work with are internalizing the reality that recent low oil prices are not just a commodity cycle, but a sign of fundamental, structural change. We have helped drive utilities away from high risk coal resources toward greater adoption of cleaner, renewable energy sources. This work is not done, but shareholders across the world are joining us in acknowledging growing risk associated with climate change and demanding action from utilities and oil and gas companies worldwide.