Fossil fuel company agrees to study climate change

Brian Nearing

Albany Times Union

Jan 18, 2018

An electric company heavily dependent on coal to provide power to millions of customers in the southeastern U.S. will report publicly on risks that climate change policies pose to its business, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Thursday.

DiNapoli said North Carolina-based Duke Energy agreed to issue the report by the end of March in response to pressure from shareholders, which include the state pension fund managed by DiNapoli. His office was among shareholders that started asking Duke two years ago to perform such a study.

"Shareholders look forward to learning how Duke Energy will align its long-term planning with efforts to reduce global warming," said DiNapoli. The state pension fund holds about $147.8 mllion in Duke stock.

An owner of power plants, Duke is heavily dependent on coal among its power plants that generate electricity for more than 7 million customers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

Under the November agreement, Duke will study how the international Paris climate agreement, in which 197 nations agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of limiting future global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius, might affect is business prospects.

President Donald J. Trump last summer announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, claiming it was unfair to the U.S.