Large railway shareholder seeks CN, CP climate plans and strategies to cut emissions

Image: CN Rail

One of the largest shareholders of Canada's two main railways is calling on them to present climate plans at their upcoming annual meetings and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TCI Fund Management Ltd., owned by British billionaire Christopher Hohn, has proposed motions at each company's upcoming meetings in 2021.

Hohn says he recognizes the steps Canadian National has taken to improve its emissions intensity.

But he says in a news release that supporting the proposal would reinforce its leadership and dedication to ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) and set an example for the rest of corporate Canada to follow.

The London-based firm, founded in 2003, is CN's fifth-largest shareholder with a 2.92 per cent stake and Canadian Pacific's largest with roughly 8.3 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Neither railway commented on TCI's move Thursday afternoon.

In its most recent annual report, CN said its “energy efficiency'' had “improved by one per cent in 2019, “which represents a saving of approximately 48,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.”

On its website, TCI says climate change is at the heart of its investment strategies and that it could vote against company nominees that refuse to heed its call.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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