Warren Buffett’s utilities — along with others across the country — are mounting a coordinated effort to block the astounding growth of small, rooftop solar being installed by homeowners, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. (1)
It’s a cynical effort to eliminate competition, instead of complementing the investments being made by citizens right now to #ActOnClimate by adding their own clean energy to the grid.
With his tremendous influence and respect in the world business community, Warren Buffett can be a leader and “Oracle” on climate change by pursuing the new utility business models we need to accelerate our transition to clean energy.
UPDATE—CLIMATE RISK SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION:
More than 10% of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders voted YES on the Climate Risk Resolution — a sizable constituency, especially given the fact that Warren himself owns 1/3 of all of Berkshire’s shares and voted them against the resolution. (2)
On April 30th, 2016 at the Berkshire Shareholder Meeting in Omaha, Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb joined climate scientist Dr. James Hansen and others to advocate for the shareholder resolution and host a Climate Rally outside the meeting. (See video above)
The next step we’re urging Warren to take to #ActOnClimate is to stop blocking small rooftop solar in Nevada.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has made big investments in renewable energy through its energy companies. But these same energy companies continue to burn a huge amount of coal — one of the chief contributors to climate change — while Buffett has also continued to make new investments in fossil fuel companies.
Nebraska Peace Foundation (which owns a voting share Berkshire Hathaway) submitted a shareholder resolution asking Buffett to do a climate risk assessment. (3)
Buffett allowed the resolution to be voted on at this year’s Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting on April 30th in Omaha, and over 10% of shareholders voted YES urging Warren to #ActOnClimate.
But Warren Buffett voted his own 1/3 of all shares against the resolution, and wrote to his shareholders urging them to reject it as well. In his letter to shareholders, Buffett wrote that he understands that climate change keeps people up at night, and he thinks people in low lying areas should move. (4)
Said Buffett: “Call this Noah’s Law: If an ark may be essential for survival, begin building it today, no matter how cloudless the skies appear.” (5)
Buffett sees the profound effects of climate change and knows it is causing disasters, but he doesn’t see any risk of his insurance companies experiencing “significant losses” from them yet.
While the Climate Risk Shareholder Resolution failed to pass this year, citizens have considerably turned up the heat on Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway to be global leaders in taking action to combat climate change.
1. “Buffett Says He Loves Renewables, So Why Is His Company Trying To Kill Solar Energy?,” ThinkProgress, 3/7/16.
2. “Warren Buffett Faces Pressure to Invest for the Climate, Not Just for Profit,” InsideClimate News, 4/6/16.
3. “Nebraska Peace Foundation calls for report on risks Berkshire Hathaway faces from climate change,” Omaha World-Herald, 3/3/16.
4. “Berkshire Hathaway 2015 Annual Report,” DataOmaha.com, 2/27/16.
5. “Warren Buffett is Wrong About Climate Change,” HuffingtonPost.com, 2/29/16.