FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2016
NextEra Energy, Inc. Shareholder Resolution on Projected Sea Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts Advances
A shareholder resolution for the upcoming annual meeting of NextEra Energy, Inc. specific to sea level rise impacts and risk disclosure has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On November 27, 2015, shareholders Alan Farago and Lisa Versaci proposed a resolution to NextEra Energy, Inc. that would require the corporation to (1) report material risks and costs of sea level rise scenarios projecting forward to 2100, according to best available science, (2) make such report available to shareholders and investors by December 1, 2016, and (3) prepare such a report annually at reasonable cost and omit proprietary information. The resolution will soon appear in the corporation’s proxy materials for the 2016 annual meeting. NextEra fought the resolution, writing among other points that it essentially can’t see that far into the future.
“I understand the point of view of NextEra’s management that investors expect predictable returns and executive compensation follows,” Farago said. “However, with global warming and sea level rise, the costs to NextEra and Florida Power & Light are quantifiable. Its markets in Florida are arguably the most at risk in the nation from sea level rise. Assessing those risks for investors and ratepayers couldn’t happen a moment too soon.”
The Washington Post reported this week on results of an analysis in the journal, Nature, that sea levels could rise nearly twice as much as previously predicted by the end of this century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated. The scientists concluded that the oceans could rise by close to two meters in total by the end of the century – the current consensus was that seas could rise by just under a meter at most by the year 2100.
Text of the resolution is below and can also be viewed on the SEC website here.
NextEra Shareholder Proposal
Filer: Alan Farago and Lisa Versaci
Subject(s): Report On Range Of Projected Sea Level Rise/ Climate Change Impacts
Resolved Clause Summary: NextEra Energy Inc.’s (Company/NextEra) operations and markets will be substantially impacted by sea level rise (SLR), a geophysical manifestation of climate change. The Company shall provide investors and shareholders with an assessment of extraordinary risk based on a probable range of sea level rise according to best available science.
WHEREAS: The Securities and Exchange Commission recognized the financial impacts of climate change when it issued Interpretive Guidance on climate disclosure in February 2010, including: “Registrants whose businesses may be vulnerable to severe weather or climate related events should consider disclosing material risks of, or consequences from, such events in their publicly filed disclosure documents.”
The Company’s principal subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States. Its markets are among the most vulnerable in the nation to sea level rise.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Sea level rise as a consequence of climate change is an extraordinary risk to the Company’s markets and facilities, leading to diminished energy utilization rates, downtime or closure of facilities due to damage to facilities, danger to employees, disruption in supply chains, disruption of markets and power supply, and unlimited financial liability.
According to NOAA: “In the context of risk-based analysis, some decision makers may wish to use a wider range of (SLR) scenarios, from 8 inches to 6.6 feet by 2100.” In contrast, FPL planning documents for two new nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point facility predict less than one foot SLR by 2100. FPL planning documents omit current federal SLR guidelines and science-based analyses such as provided by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact / Sea Level Rise Work Group assessment. Using the lowest estimate of SLR for the Company’s planning purposes leads to inaccurate information for shareholders.
BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that NextEra Energy Inc. report material risks and costs of sea level rise to company operations, facilities, and markets based on a range of SLR scenarios projecting forward to 2100, according to best available science. The requested report shall be available to shareholders and investors by December 1, 2016, be prepared annually at shoreasonable cost and omit proprietary information.