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Investors Praise California Senate Leaders for Passing Historic Climate Disclosure Bill

U.S. and Canadian investors praised California Senate leaders for approving a measure which will result in the nation’s first state standard for voluntary climate risk disclosure by corporations. California Senate Bill 1550, “Corporations: climate risk disclosure”, was approved on the floor of the California State Senate today and now moves to the California Assembly for consideration.
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May 22, 2008

SACRAMENTO, CA - U.S. and Canadian investors praised California Senate leaders for approving a measure which will result in the nation’s first state standard for voluntary climate risk disclosure by corporations.  California Senate Bill 1550, “Corporations: climate risk disclosure”, was approved on the floor of the California State Senate today and now moves to the California Assembly for consideration.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Dean Florez, requires the California Controller, in consultation with the investment community, to develop a climate change disclosure standard for use by listed companies doing business in California. The standard would provide guidance for these businesses on disclosure of climate change risks and opportunities.

Leading California investors and government officials support the bill, including Controller John Chiang and CalPERS.  Also supporting the bill are leading investor, labor and religious organizations: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, BC Investment Management Corporation, Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert, Ethical Funds Company, Pax World, Presbyterian Church (USA), Sierra Club of California, Trillium Asset Management, Vermont Community Foundation and Winslow Management.

The bill is based on the Global Framework for Climate Risk Disclosure, developed by CalPERS, CalSTRS, the California Controller’s Office, the Connecticut Treasurer’s Office and other investor groups and released in 2006.  The Framework is the first global statement of investor expectations for comprehensive climate disclosure by the companies in which they invest.

"We are pleased Senate leaders recognize the importance of improved environmental disclosure. This bill will give investors better information and will help companies better manage their risks," said State Controller John Chiang. "Most importantly, the measure encourages California companies to pursue opportunities related to climate change and cements their leadership in addressing this serious economic and environmental issue."

"Voluntary disclosure is a critical part of CalPERS’ strategies to evaluate and reduce climate-related risks in our investments. This bill is an important tool to help us receive better information from the companies in our portfolio," said Rob Feckner, President, CalPERS Board of Administration.

"What gets measured gets managed, and climate risks must be measured by companies so they can develop plans to address them," said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of 65 institutional investors with assets totaling more than $5 trillion focused on the business impacts of climate change. "The information that companies provide on climate change is not adequate and is not at the level investors need to make informed investment decisions."

Organizations supporting Senate Bill 1550:

California State Controller John Chiang
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
BC Investment Management Corporation (British Columbia, Canada)
Boston Common Asset Management, LLC
Calvert Group, Ltd.
Ceres
The Ethical Funds Company
Pax World
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Sierra Club
Trillium Asset Management Corporation
The Vermont Community Foundation
Winslow Management Company

About Ceres and INCR
Ceres is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a network of 65 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $5 trillion focused on the business impacts from climate change. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org orhttp://www.incr.com.

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