Pension fund pressures companies to be more responsible on climate

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System — the largest public pension fund in the U.S., an economic powerhouse with some $182.9 billion in assets — voted Monday to use its significant clout to help fight global warming. Specifically, CalPERS is asking companies in the Financial Times 500 to disclose investment info related to their carbon emissions, requesting that auto manufacturers reveal their emission-reduction plans, and demanding that utilities report the risks associated with their greenhouse-gas releases. Lest the fund be ignored, it appears to be making an example of automakers whose representatives didn’t show up to a scheduled meeting in Sacramento, where they were to defend the companies’ legal battle against California’s new auto-emissions regulations. The fund is considering including two of the car manufacturers in a public listing of companies it says have poor economic performance, excessive executive compensation, and poor corporate governance practices. Oh, snap!