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TCI Fund Management seeks climate action from CP and CN

Major Canadian railways receive shareholder proposals from TCI requesting climate action plans and voting rights

CN (NYSE: CNI) and Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) shareholder TCI Fund Management Ltd, has asked both railways to lay out climate action plans at their annual general meetings in 2021. 

TCI has a 2.93% stake in CN and is CP’s largest shareholder with an 8.31% stake.

TCI has an extensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment policy regarding climate change. In the proposal sent last week, Christopher Hohn, TCI founder and portfolio manager, asked that the railways establish climate action plans that detail each corporation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and present actionable strategies to reduce those emissions. TCI proposed that each company hold a vote at their annual general meetings, where shareholders get a say on their climate plans.

“TCI remains committed to driving the reduction of carbon emissions at the corporate level and establishing a climate action plan that can be voted on by shareholders is a key step forward in accomplishing that goal,” Hohn said in the proposal to CN.

Hohn added that he looked forward to active dialogue with CP “to bring about meaningful change that will help accelerate a transition to net zero.” 

CP declined to comment when contacted by FreightWaves. CN had not responded to a request for comment as of publication time.

This isn’t the first time TCI has called for climate action. In October, TCI put similar pressure on the Spanish airports operator Aena to adopt a plan to fight climate change. In response, Aena set an example by giving shareholders an annual vote on its climate change efforts. Aena was the first company in the world to give shareholders a vote on climate matters.

On Monday, CN announced its support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The TCFD is working to help companies and shareholders understand the financial risks brought by climate change using information gathered from transparent reporting. 

In a press release, CN President and CEO JJ Ruest said, “Our 2019 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure Report release marks another milestone in our commitment to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.” CN’s 2019 climate report is available for download from the press release.

As more railways strive for sustainability, Hohn hopes that CN and CP will become climate leaders through the adoption of aggressive environmental and emission-reduction policies. 

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.