Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest publicly traded coal company, agreed last week to step up disclosure on the business risks it faces due to climate change regulation, just days after reports that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was investigating disclosure practices by Peabody and ExxonMobil.
“Taken together, the revelations suggest that we could be entering a world in which, as nations get more serious about capping and regulating greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel firms will also face more regulatory scrutiny for their statements to investors and the public,” the Washington Post reports.
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“The attorney general charges that Peabody said in regulatory filings that it could not predict the risks to its business from future greenhouse gas regulations,” Mooney writes. “Schneiderman also charged that the company centrally emphasized a limited and relatively optimistic scenario for the global coal future” out of several scenarios produced by the International Energy Agency.
That meant the company’s regulatory filings were “incomplete and omitted less favourable IEA projections for future coal demand,” Schneiderman said.
“As a publicly traded company whose core business generates massive amounts of carbon emissions, Peabody Energy has a responsibility to be honest with its investors and the public about the risks posed by climate change, now and in the future,” Schneiderman told media. “I believe that full and fair disclosures by Peabody and other fossil fuel companies will lead investors to think long and hard about the damage these companies are doing to our planet.”