I will speak tomorrow at the Walmart annual meeting in favor of our shareholder proposal asking for a report on the business risks of climate change. The meeting takes place on Friday, June 3 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The supporting statement appearing in the proxy reads, in part:
Wal-Mart has committed itself to dramatic measures to reduce carbon emissions, and to support controversial political positions, even as scientific and political factors related to global warming are rapidly changing.
Documents and emails released from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in late 2009 exposed vulnerabilities in the reliability and objectivity of key information provided to the United Nations’ influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2010, the IPCC acknowledged its Nobel Prize-winning 2007 report on global warming included inaccuracies and exaggerated claims based on questionable data sources.
According to the Wal-Mart 2009 Sustainability Report:
Currently, we are…supporting legislation in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – including the enactment of a well-designed cap-and-trade system.
As the 2010 elections demonstrated, the American people overwhelmingly rejected cap and trade. In West Virginia, successful Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin ran a TV ad in which he picked up a rifle and used a copy of the cap-and-trade bill for target practice.
On February 25, 2010, Wal-Mart announced plans to eliminate 20 million metric tons of emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015, thus imposing its political agenda on its suppliers.
On its website, Wal-Mart says its “broad environmental goals” include :
1. To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy
2. To create zero waste
These goals are neither achievable nor desirable. They move Wal-Mart beyond political correctness into the realm of the absurd. Revisiting the risks of climate change through this report may help Wal-Mart avoid future embarrassment.
The resolution reads:
Resolved: Wal-Mart shareholders request that the Board of Directors prepare by October 2011, at reasonable expense and omitting proprietary information, a report disclosing the business risks related to climate change, which may include :
1. Impact of Legislation and Regulation
2. Impact of International Accords
3. Indirect Consequences of Regulation or Business
4. Physical Impacts of Climate Change
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