Canadian railway company Canadian Pacific (CP) will take its climate action strategy to its shareholders at its AGM this year, with the inclusion of a climate resolution in its newly released proxy circular. The inclusion of a climate resolution follows engagement with activist investor Christopher Hohn’s $30 billion fund, TCI Fund Management.
In November 2020, TCI announced that it had submitted proposals to Canadian railway companies, Canadian National Railway (CN) and CP, requesting that the companies present climate action plans at their shareholder meetings, and asking that the companies’ plans detail their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels as well as their strategies to reduce emissions in the future.
Hohn has emerged as a leading figure in climate transparency and accountability. Last year, for example, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), co-founded Hohn and Jamie Cooper, launched the “Say on Climate” campaign, aiming to enlist asset managers in the effort to push companies to submit climate action plans for votes at their AGMs.
CP issued its first statement on climate change in July 2020, acknowledging the effects of rising global temperatures. The company has committed to pursue efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and to set science-based targets for its GHG emissions reduction goals.
The TCI proposal would require CP to present to shareholders a climate action plan disclosing the Corporation’s greenhouse gas emission levels this year, in a manner consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations, along with its strategy that to reduce the emissions in the future. Additionally, it would obligate CP to report annually at AGMs on its emissions reduction progress, and to present the plan annually to a shareholder vote.
CP has recommended that shareholders approve the proposal.
In the proxy circular, Isabelle Courville, Chair of the Board for CP, wrote:
“For this year’s annual meeting, CP received a shareholder proposal on the topic of climate change from TCI Fund Management Ltd. (TCI). CP regularly engages with its stakeholders including shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which we operate. CP actively considers all of these views in the context of CP’s response to climate change and our overall sustainability principles and practices. CP has a proven, industry-leading team that is committed to managing its business and reporting on climate and sustainability in our business using industry accepted reporting frameworks. TCI’s proposal aligns with CP’s existing sustainability commitment and we recommend that shareholders vote in favour of the proposal.”