06 May 2011 Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein to Face Climate Change Risk Disclosure Shareholder Proposal
Blankfein’s Global Warming Business Strategy Exposes Shareholders to Numerous Risks, Says National Center for Public Policy Research
Washington, D.C. – Officials from the National Center for Public Policy Research will attend the Goldman Sachs annual shareholder meeting in Jersey City, NJ Friday to challenge CEO Lloyd Blankfein over the company’s global warming business strategy.
National Center policy experts will present a Climate Change Risk Disclosure shareholder proposal (#9 in the proxy statement). The proposal, which is based on guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission, asks the company to reveal the business risk from changes in the scientific, legislative and political landscape regarding developments in climate change. Goldman Sachs says it has $3 billion invested in renewable energy.
Participating in the shareholder meeting are Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, and Deneen Borelli, full-time fellow of the National Center-sponsored Project 21 black leadership network.
“Goldman Sachs has failed to disclose the significant risks associated with its climate change business strategy. With approximately $3 billion of investments in renewable energy, shareholders have a right to know that changes in the political and scientific landscape can have a significant impact on those investments,” said Tom Borelli.
“Shareholders should be advised that the profit potential of renewable energy is dependent on government action. Since renewable energy can’t compete head-to-head with fossil fuels, the use of wind turbines and solar panels is reliant on government subsidies and mandates. Accordingly, future budget cuts to address our massive government debt could negatively impact the use of renewable energy,” said Tom Borelli. Goldman Sachs petitioned the SEC to permit it to reject consideration of the proposal, but the SEC ruled in favor of the National Center for Public Policy Research.
“I’m surprised Goldman Sachs tried to block our shareholder proposal from appearing in the company’s proxy statement. Transparent disclosure is always in the best interest of shareholders and this is especially true with such obvious risks to this business strategy. Failing to disclose these issues and trying to ignore SEC guidance is yet another example of corporate arrogance,” added Deneen Borelli.
“The fact that Goldman Sachs tried to block our shareholder proposal raises questions regarding what is the company trying to hide from its investors,” added Deneen Borelli.
The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Its 2010 revenues were over $12 million. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, receiving less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible.