Google Inc. (Alphabet Inc.) | Paris-Aligned Climate Lobbying Framework

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Alphabet shareholders request that the Board report publicly on its framework for identifying and addressing misalignment between Alphabet’s lobbying and policy influence activities and positions, and its Net Zero (emissions) climate commitments (done at reasonable cost, omitting confidential/proprietary information). This report should cover activities done both directly and indirectly through trade associations, coalitions, alliances, and social welfare organizations (“Associations”), and reference the criteria used to assess alignment, the escalation strategies employed to address misalignment, and the circumstances under which escalation strategies are used (e.g., timeline, sequencing, and degree of influence over an Association).
Whereas clause
Alphabet Inc. (“Alphabet” or “Company”) pays trade association dues and other membership fees to organizations that consistently cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change.1 Alphabet further supports third parties actively opposing business-critical Paris-aligned climate policies.2 Investors increasingly see misaligned public policy activities as out of step with the goals of the Paris Agreement and companies’ Net Zero targets. Investors widely agree with corporate disclosure of lobbying activities. While this proposal is not calling on the Company to leave its trade associations, we submit this proposal to encourage the board to remedy climate misalignment and have clear and public criteria for doing so.3
Alphabet notes sponsorship and collaboration “doesn’t mean that we endorse the organization’s entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions, nor the views of its leaders or members. We assess the alignment of our trade association participation with the goals of the Paris Agreement…”4
Yet the Company does not provide information on the cadence of an evaluation, the criteria it considers, nor how it remedies any misalignments found. Alphabet notes that it speaks to industry associations about climate policy, yet it is still active in groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Europe, and Japan Business Federation, “all of which have consistently opposed ambitious climate action in their respective jurisdictions,” per numerous sources.56
One of the five pledges of the United Nations’s Race to Zero initiative, in which Alphabet participates, is “Within 12 months of joining, align external policy and engagement, including membership in associations, to the goal of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching global (net) zero by 2050.”7 While Alphabet has joined several trade and policy groups in recent years to enable stronger renewable energy policy, these activities may be negated as other influential groups that Alphabet participates in seek to obstruct climate policy progress.
Alphabet focuses on its positive climate lobbying efforts in its CDP response and notes engagements with trade associations to encourage alignment. However, Alphabet omits disclosure of the areas where climate commitments may be undermined via current public policy actions and memberships.8 We urge the board to adopt more systematic practices and provide key information needed to assess climate transition plans.

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