Drawing on insights from experts in environmental and securities law, economics, and other fields, this workshop at Vanderbilt Law School on October 22, 2019 explored the viability of the universal owner concept and its implications for climate mitigation and other environmental, social and governance issues.
Moderator: Michael P. Vandenbergh, David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair of Law, Director, Climate Change Research Network, Co-director, Energy, Environment and Land Use Program (Vanderbilt University Law School)
Madison Condon, Legal Fellow at the Institute for Policy Integrity (NYU School of Law)
Frederick Alexander, Founder, The Shareholder Commons
Margaret Blair, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Free Enterprise (Vanderbilt University Law School)
Yesha Yadav, Professor of Law, Chancellor Faculty Fellow, 2019-21, Faculty Co-director, LL.M. Program (Vanderbilt University Law School)
Dorothy Lund, Assistant Professor of Law (University of Southern California Gould School of Law)
Mark Cohen, Justin Potter Professor of American Competitive Enterprise and Professor of Law, University Fellow, Resources for the Future (Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management)
This workshop explores the implications of the universal owner concept for climate mitigation. An emerging literature suggests that because many large institutional investors have diversified portfolios that mirror the market, they do not benefit from any one company profiting through negative externalities that harm other companies. If this concept survives critical scrutiny, it may explain why institutional investors are increasingly pushing for decarbonization across many sectors and may predict that this pressure will continue in the future. Climate change is a systemic investment risk that cannot be diversified away, so the universal owner concept also may become the focus of shareholder activism from institutional investors that have typically been passive overseers of corporate behavior. Drawing on insights from experts in environmental and securities law, economics, and other fields, this workshop explores the viability of the universal owner concept and the implications for climate mitigation and other environmental, social and governance issues.
Madison Condon, Externalities and the Common Owner, at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3378783
Michael Vandenbergh & Jonathan Gilligan, Beyond Gridlock at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2533643