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Ford Details Plans To Cut Emissions, Shareholder Activists Back Off

ford4-9-08.jpgFord has become the first U.S. auto company to spell out how it plans to reach the goal of reducing by at least 30 percent the greenhouse gas emissions from its new vehicle fleet by 2020.

The decision to release the information came in the wake of climate-related shareholder resolutions put forward by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

As a result, related Ford shareholder resolutions have been withdrawn by: the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, NJ and other members of ICCR, which is a group of nearly 300 religious institutional investors representing over $100 billion in invested funds; and the Connecticut State Treasurer’s office, which is active in INCR, a $5 trillion network of investors. Connecticut holds 565,246 shares of Ford.

In March, Ford presented investors with a detailed analysis of its fuel emissions goals showing how the 30 percent emissions reduction would be achieved in a manner consistent with the 60-80 percent CO2 reductions by 2050 that Ford and dozens of other U.S. companies have agreed to as part of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.

Previously, the most any U.S. auto company has agreed to do on GHG emissions is to undertake enhanced reporting of climate-related impacts or set a general GHG goal without showing how it would be reached.

Next, the investors are targeting General Motors, pushing it to set specific greenhouse gas reduction targets for its vehicles and operations. A shareholder resolution is expected to be voted on at GM’s annual meeting in June 2008.

The withdrawals come one month after investors announced that a record 54 global warming shareholder resolutions have been filed with U.S. companies as part of the 2008 proxy season.

This year’s filings follows a record high number of resolutions in the 2007 proxy season.

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