Ceres and CookESG create search tool to analyze carbon asset risk

Study shows foreign companies offer ‘far better’ disclosure than US companies

Nonprofit lobby group Ceres and CookESG Research, which specializes in analysis of ESG data disclosure, have launched a new tool they say will allow investors to search for SEC filings that contain risk disclosures related to climate, water and carbon.

The tool can zero in on disclosures related to carbon-intensive exploration projects, competition from sources of renewable energy, government efforts to reduce carbon emissions, possible global reductions in demand for fossil fuels and other areas specific to carbon asset disclosures, according to the two companies.

The firms say in a press release that the new tool will allow investors to, for example, quickly determine whether companies in the oil industry are regularly updating them on pressures to reduce carbon emissions and how that affects their profit and exploration outlooks.

‘Robust carbon-asset risk data from fossil fuel companies is a critical need, but it’s still lacking, especially given the growing worldwide focus on reducing pollution that is causing climate warming,’ says Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres. ‘This tool, in combination with climate disclosure requirements enacted by the SEC, is an important step in helping investors understand how companies are responding – or not responding – to growing climate-related risks.’

Ceres and CookESG Research say the tool, accessible at www.ceres.org/secsearchtool, allowed them to conduct a study in recent weeks that shows foreign fossil fuel companies offer ‘far better’ reporting than US companies.

‘Of the 23 oil and gas production and extraction companies on the S&P 500, disclosing a collective 77 bn barrels of oil equivalent in reserves as of the end of 2014, not one discussed the likelihood and potential impact of an international agreement to limit global warming,’ says Jackie Cook of CookESG Research.

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