Monday, September 7, 2015

How our screwed-up CEO pay system makes climate change worse




Runaway CEO pay at the 30 largest U.S. public fossil fuel corporations rewards short-term actions, with disastrous results for the world’s climate, a new report finds.

CEOs at big oil, gas, and coal corporations are rewarded for a short-term fixation on pumping up quarterly share prices. They receive pay perks for expanding carbon reserves and building unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure. Share prices can get a temporary boost from corporate lobbying to maintain government subsidies and block renewable energy initiatives, and from campaign donations that help elect climate deniers to Congress.

In 2014, the average CEO pay package at the 30 biggest oil, gas, and coal companies was $14.7 million, 9 percent higher than average CEO pay on the S&P 500. These pay trends are documented in “Money to Burn: How CEO Pay Is Accelerating Climate Change,” a report I coauthored for the Institute for Policy Studies.  MORE