News From Green Century Capital Management
5/15/2008 >> ConocoPhillips Shareholders Vote to Protect Alaskan Wilderness 3rd Year in a Row
|More than 20% of ConocoPhillips shareholders today voted in favor of a shareholder resolution asking the company to recognize – and eventually stay out of – sensitive areas within the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, particularly areas near Teshekpuk Lake. The resolution, filed by Green Century Capital Management (Green Century) in conjunction with the Sierra Club, is the third resolution in three years proposed by Green Century to the oil company regarding the fragile ecosystem in Alaska's western Arctic. For the third year in a row more than 20 percent of shareholders have supported the Teshekpuk Lake resolution.
"Shareholders are sending a strong signal to ConocoPhillips about the importance of protecting Teshekpuk Lake," said Athan Manuel, of the Sierra Club’s Chill the Drills Campaign. "Americans are beginning to realize they can weigh-in as investors and influence companies on the importance of protecting these unique areas that affect all of us. It’s not only remote parts of Alaska that are at risk. If the Teshekpuk Lake area is opened to oil and gas development, we will feel it even as far south as the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast, where each year birdwatchers and hunters look forward to the migration of waterfowl to and from Teshekpuk Lake."
Teshekpuk Lake provides critical migratory bird habitat, and is central to the lives of local native populations who use the area for subsistence fishing and hunting. The resolution calls on ConocoPhillips to consider the potential environmental damage that would result from drilling for oil and gas in the western Arctic, especially the northeast planning area adjacent to Teshekpuk Lake. It goes on to ask the company to consider not drilling in that region. The Teshekpuk Lake region, an area that encompasses the most important and sensitive wetland complexes in the circumpolar Arctic, supports the highest density of nesting waterfowl and shorebirds on Alaska's North Slope.
"This is a landmark day for Teshekpuk Lake and for all threatened ecosystems around the world," said Kristina Curtis of Green Century. "Three years in a row, more than a quarter of the shareholders of an oil company have said, 'Sometimes you shouldn't drill. You have to consider the environmental cost.' We hope ConocoPhillips and other oil companies will take that message to heart and develop policies to protect the world's most sensitive ecosystems."
The 22% percent vote demonstrates a high level of support for preserving wilderness areas. This vote guarantees that the preservation of Teshekpuk Lake will stay on the agenda for ConocoPhillips' management in the coming year.
Green Century filed two other shareholder resolutions at oil and gas companies this year. Working again with the Sierra Club, Green Century is asking ExxonMobil to refrain from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge given the wide variety of wildlife that is sustained in the remote ecosystem. The second resolution filed at Chevron requests a report on the environmental degradation imposed by expanding the company’s oil sand projects in Canada’s boreal forest. Not only do these projects threaten the long-term survival of numerous fish, songbird and waterfowl species, the processing techniques are highly resource intensive and environmentally damaging. These operations are the fastest growing sources of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.
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Green Century Capital Management is an investment advisory firm focused on environmentally responsible investing. Founded by a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations in 1991, Green Century’s mission is to provide people who care about a clean, healthy planet the opportunity to use the clout of their investment dollars to encourage environmentally responsible corporate behavior. Green Century believes that shareholder advocacy is a critical component of responsible investing.
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