Shareholders request that the Board of Directors conduct an evaluation and issue a report (at reasonable cost, omitting confidential or proprietary information) describing if, and how, Coterra Energy’s lobbying and policy influence activities (both direct and indirect through trade associations, coalitions, alliances, and other organizations) align with the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit average global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C, and how Coterra plans to mitigate the risks presented by any misalignment.
United Nations Climate Change asserts that greenhouse gas emissions must decline by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If that goal is not met, even more rapid reductions, at greater cost, will be required to compensate for the slow start on the path to global net zero emissions. Even with the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, critical gaps remain between Nationally Determined Contributions set by the U.S. government and the actions required to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Domestically and internationally, companies have an important and constructive role to play in enabling policymakers to close these gaps.
Corporate lobbying that is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement presents increasingly material risks to companies and their shareholders, as delays in emissions reductions undermine political stability, damage infrastructure, impair access to finance and insurance, and exacerbate health risks and costs. Further, companies face increasing reputational risks from consumers, investors, and other stakeholders if they appear to delay or block effective climate policy. Of particular concern are trade associations and other politically active organizations that say they speak for business but too often present forceful obstacles to addressing the climate crisis. Proponents appreciate that Coterra’s Sustainability Report discloses its memberships in trade associations and the amounts paid to each used for lobbying. This is an important first step in bringing transparency to their policy engagement.
Proponents believe that enhancing this with reporting on the alignment of the company’s lobbying with the internationally agreed goals of the Paris Agreement would fill an important gap. The Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying, backed by investors and networks representing $130 trillion in assets, provides reporting guidelines, particularly in regards to evaluating and mitigating misalignment on climate policies.
In evaluating the degree of alignment, Coterra should consider not only its policy positions and those of organizations of which it is a member, but also the actual lobbying and policy influence activities, such as comment submissions, with regard to climate provisions of key international, federal and state legislation and regulation.
The proponents believe this request is consistent with the investor expectations described in the Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying, and that this Standard is a useful resource for implementation