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Investors Urge Companies to Disclose Climate-Related Financial Risks

More companies are mentioning climate change in their securities filings – U. S. companies mentioned climate change 7,634 times in their securities filings in the first quarter of 2008 compared with 536 in the comparable period in 2006 – but institutional investors are requesting securities commissions mandate disclosure of climate-change related financial risks, Financial Post reports.

In 2007, more than 20 leading U.S. and European institutional investors representing more than $1.5-trillion in assets, filed a petition with such a request with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

Although the petition did not lead the SEC to insist on disclosure of climate-change related financial risks, it caught Congress’ attention and Financial Posts writes that with the U.S. election out of the way, the situation may change.

Last year, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo used a securities law, the Martin Act, to investigate the plans of five energy companies building coal-fired power plants.

This year, both Dynegy Inc. and Xcel Energy have agreed to disclose the financial risks that climate change poses to its investors in its annual SEC filings.

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