19 Apr 2011 General Electric Investors Urged to Vote for Climate Change Risk Disclosure Shareholder Proposal
GE CEO Jeff Immelt Should Divulge the Business Risk of his Global Warming Business Strategy, says Free Enterprise Project
Washington, D.C. – GE investors are being urged today to vote for the Climate Change Risk Disclosure shareholder proposal (#4) in the company’s 2011 proxy statement that was filed by the National Center for Public Policy Research – the parent organization of the Free Enterprise Project.
The results of the shareholder proposal will be announced at GE’s annual meeting on April 27 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Investors must be made aware of the significant business risk associated with GE’s gambit to profit from climate change fears. To date, GE CEO Jeff Immelt has failed to inform investors that demand for the company’s renewable energy products is subjected to a host of political and scientific risks,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the Free Enterprise Project.
The shareholder proposal, which was based on guidance issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), asks GE to disclose the business risk from changes in the scientific, legislative and political landscape regarding developments in climate change.
“GE must tell its investors that demand for the company’s wind turbines and solar panels is driven by government regulation and mandates. Accordingly, changes in the global warming debate – such as Climategate and Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives – diminish the political momentum to grant lavish subsidies that renewable energy depends upon to survive,” added Borelli.
GE attempted to block the shareholder proposal from appearing in the company’s proxy statement by appealing to the SEC. The SEC, however, rejected GE’s claim that a report disclosing the climate change business risks was part of the company’s ordinary business operations.
“GE’s attempt to exclude our shareholder proposal shows Jeff Immelt does not want investors to realize the inconvenient truth that the success of his global warming business strategy depends on the whims of elected officials, a government that can no-longer afford to subsidize GE’s products and the deteriorating scientific foundation that man is responsible for global warming. If investors knew the truth they might choose to bet in a Las Vegas casino instead of a business plan that depends on Congress and shaky science,” said Borelli.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.