Resolution 9: Climate Change, Corporate Governance

Resolved, That the 168th Convention of the Diocese of California submits the following resolution to the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, the House of ____________ concurring, That the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church call upon the Executive Council and its Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR), in conjunction with the Church Pension Fund, to identify 10 companies significantly impacting the environment, and be either the primary filer or co-filer for shareholder resolutions creating a designated climate scientist position on their boards of directors; and be it further  

Resolved, That the General Convention budget make this a priority for the triennial as the Stewardship of Creation pillar of the Jesus Movement by allocating $12,000 - $15,000 in addition to CCSR’s budget for implementation.

 

Explanation:  The Episcopal Church has repeatedly called for strong measures to slow global warming and its concomitant climate change. This resolution, further implementing this policy in a modest fashion intended to be noncontroversial, calls upon the Church’s Executive Council and its Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR), in conjunction with the Church Pension Fund, to identify ten companies that would be appropriate candidates to have a designated climate scientist expert on their board of directors. It also directs CCSR to be either the primary filer or co-filer for shareholder resolutions to accomplish that result.   This will ensure open discussion of issues, hold directors and officers accountable for their actions, and secure the rights of shareholders to be represented by independent directors who are competent in this critical area.

Implementing this and other resolutions, TEC’s Executive Council, among other things, has instructed the Treasurer to vote in favor of all shareholder resolutions asking companies to adopt principles for national and international action to stop global warming; and to vote in favor of all shareholder resolutions asking companies to report on the financial risks resulting from climate change and their impact on shareholder value and related matters.

God calls us to be good stewards of God’s good Creation (Gen. 1:31, 2:15). Jesus commands us to care for those who are vulnerable as if we were caring for Him (Mt. 25:40). The Fifth Mark of Mission of the Anglican Communion is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of  the earth.” The Episcopal Church, by its mission, is pledged to the protection and care of God’s people and God’s Creation.

Based on three resolutions, the Episcopal Church have established policies on Global Climate Change (GC 2006 B002), Care of Creation (Executive Council Minutes – February 21, 2010). Board Diversity, and Scientific Integrity in Environmental Policy (GC 2009 C012).  With the increased call from institutional investors for transparency and reporting the impacts of climate change policies to shareholders, it becomes imperative that governing boards have climate scientist expert on corporate board of directors. 

More background is available here.

Submitted by:  Warren J. Wong, delegate, St. James, San Francisco of the Deanery of San Francisco; member, Executive Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility 2001-09 (formerly SRI); member, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Climate Change WorkGroup (2016-), wjwstjames@gmail.com

Endorsed by:  Episcopal Peace Fellowship – East Bay Chapter

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