Investors push disclosure of the impact of carbon price on company profits

The Australian Financial review today reported that investors are pushing companies to disclose the impact of a potential carbon price on profits (page 1, “Push to reveal carbon impact on profits”).

Next month, the Climate Advocacy Shareholder Group will move a motion at Woodside’s AGM for it to change its constitution to require it to publicly disclose the carbon price assumptions it relies on to make earnings projections and investment decisions. This will be the first time in Australia that shareholders of a company have been asked to vote on a resolution of this type.  In 2009, there were more than 100 shareholder resolutions relating to climate change put forward in the US.

The AFR reports that while the Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI) agrees that investors need to understand how companies are responding to and will be affected by a proposed price on carbon, they are “yet to decide whether the proposed [constitutional] amendments were the appropriate vehicle for disclosure of such information”.’

According to the article, the ASX said yesterday that company boards were required to ensure that executives “manage the companies material business risks and report to it on whether those risks are being managed effectively”.

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