Non-profit

50/50 Climate Project

Website:

5050climate.org

Location:

SACRAMENTO, CA

Tax ID:

46-2720181

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Climate Majority Project is a left-of-center environmentalist organization that focuses on influencing corporation’s decisions and direction towards adopting the environmentalist agenda. The group seeks to add one or more select climate activists for environmental oversight to boards of directors in companies like Exxon and Chevron.

Climate Majority Project was created from a merger between 50/50 and Majority Action. [1]  Climate Majority Project’s leadership are drawn from left-progressive activist backgrounds including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and United Auto Workers (UAW) labor unions and activist groups like Color of Change. [2]

50/50

The predecessor organization 50/50 was named to represent its 50 institutional investors which are worth $13 trillion that seek to change environmental policies in 50 of the largest energy companies. A central tactic is to use shareholder voting pressure to add environmentalist activists to boards of directors; the group succeeded 26 out of 34 times, including at Chevron and only narrowly losing at Exxon. [3]

50/50 interprets the advent of President Donald Trump’s environmental policies as a lesson that relying only on the government to impact climate change and environmental policy is insufficient. [4] Therefore, its focus is on influencing corporate boards of directors and shareholders to make policy decisions based upon the threat of climate change. [5]

50/50 produced a report titled Spending Against Change illustrating that over 20 of the largest American energy and utility companies invested almost $700 million on political spending. [6] The report claims that these same companies lead the fight against combatting climate change, face the highest risk from climate change, lack climate risk and political spending oversight, and need environmentalist-aligned board members. [7]

Leadership

The executive director of Climate Majority Project is Eli Kasargod-Staub, who was the co-founder and executive director of Majority Action prior to the merger with 50/50. According to his LinkedIn page, Kasargod-Staub formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union and the Australian Council of Trade Unions and sits on the board of Bend the Arc, a left-of-center Jewish-focused advocacy group. [8]

While at Majority Action, Kasgarod-Staub led a failed fundraising campaign to gain shareholder votes for the purpose of ousting Sandra Froman, a director at firearms manufacturer Sturm Ruger and former National Rifle Association president. [9]  He recently was a leader in the “Fire Zuck” initiative aiming to oust Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. [10]

50/50’s pre-merger executive director was Edward Kamonjoh, who formerly worked at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) with current Climate Majority Action board member Nell Minow. [11] ISS’s mission was to increase diversity on corporate boards by adding more women and minorities. [12]  Kamonjoh’s viewpoints are represented in a study he authored proposing that corporations controlled by a few majority shareholders underperformed and had fewer women and minorities on their boards compared to companies that were not controlled by several large shareholders. [13] He also called for investors to be more involved in the companies they own stock in to ensure they make decisions that benefit shareholders. [14] He suggested that in light of President Trump’s policies the successful management of climate risk must include shareholders who perceive the threat of climate change as real. [15]  After leaving 50/50, Kamonjoh joined the Democracy Collaborative. [16]

Board of Directors

James Rucker is the co-founder and chairman of left-leaning organizations Colorofchange.org[17] and the Citizen Engagement Laboratory and formerly worked at left-wing advocacy group MoveOn.org. [18]

Nell Minow was an attorney at the Environmental Protection Agency. Minow’s reputation in corporate governance included setting a record for ousting CEOs at companies including Waste Management, Kodak, Sears, and American Express, which led to Fortune labeling her the “CEO Killer.” [19]

Dennak Murphy is a long-term member of the Service Employees International Union’s Capital Stewardship Program responsible for ensuring a million union member’s retirements.

William Patterson comes from the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers unions and also has a background in corporate governance. Patterson has led initiatives that led to the ouster of Fortune 500 CEOs.

Donors

A significant donor is the left leaning environmentalist Sustainable Markets Foundation. [20] The Foundation’s investing focus is supporting organizations that seek to heighten environmental controls and limit the impact of climate change by focusing on the elimination of conventional energy sources. [21]

References

  1. “Non-Profit Climate Risk Management for Boards and Investors.” 50/50 Climate Project. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://5050climate.org/. ^
  2. “Non-Profit Climate Risk Management for Boards and Investors.” 50/50 Climate Project. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://5050climate.org/about/ ^
  3. [1] “Exxon and Chevron Prone to ‘Groupthink’ on Climate – Study.” Climate Home News. Climate Home, July 16, 2015. https://www.climatechangenews.com/2015/07/16/exxon-and-chevron-prone-to-groupthink-on-climate-study/. ^
  4. Morgenson, Gretchen. “Want Change? Shareholders Have a Tool for That.” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/business/proxy-climate-change-executive-pay.html. ^
  5. Asher-Schapiro, Avi. “Donald Trump And Climate Change Policy: Investors And Environmental Activists Fear Trump Will Gut Corporate Disclosure Rule.” International Business Times, December 23, 2016. https://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/donald-trump-climate-change-policy-investors-environmental-activists-fear-trump. ^
  6. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://5050climate.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/FINAL-2018-Climate-Scorecard-1.pdf. ^
  7. McRitchie, James. “Spending Against Change Heightens Climate Risk.” Corporate Governance, February 23, 2018. https://www.corpgov.net/2018/02/spending-against-change-heightens-climate-risk/. ^
  8. “Eli Kasargod-Staub, CFA.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 13, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eli-kasargod-staub-cfa-a292815/. ^
  9. Kerber, Ross. “Limited Engagement: Top Funds Backed Gunmaker Ruger Board despite No Talks.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, August 31, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guns-investors/limited-engagement-top-funds-backed-gunmaker-ruger-board-despite-no-talks-idUSKCN1LF2QV. ^
  10. Riley, Tonya. “A Big Fight Is Looming Between Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s Shareholders.” Mother Jones, May 6, 2019. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/05/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-shareholder-resolutions/. ^
  11. “Edward Kamonjoh, Executive Director, 50/50 Climate Project.” ICGN, February 9, 2017. https://www.icgn.org/speakers/edward-kamonjoh-executive-director-5050-climate-project. ^
  12. Wazwaz, Noor. “Confronting Homogeneity In Apple’s Boardroom.” NPR. NPR, February 21, 2016. https://www.npr.org/2016/02/21/467573806/confronting-homogeneity-in-apples-boardroom. ^
  13. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://pcg.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/a-2016-ISS-Study-Controlled-Companies.pdf. ^
  14. Morgenson, Gretchen. “Want Change? Shareholders Have a Tool for That.” The New York Times. The New York Times, March 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/business/proxy-climate-change-executive-pay.html. ^
  15. Kerber, Ross. “Ahead of Exxon’s Annual Meeting, Shareholders and Investors Push for Climate Action.” Business Insider. Business Insider, May 22, 2017. https://www.businessinsider.com/r-ahead-of-exxons-annual-meeting-climate-activists-gain-ground-2017-5?op=1. ^
  16. “Edward Kamonjoh.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 13, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/edkam/. ^
  17. Rucker, James, ColorOfChange.org, and ColorOfChange.org. “James Rucker.” HuffPost. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/author/james-rucker. ^
  18. “Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL).” Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL). Accessed November 8, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/citizen-engagement-laboratory/. ^
  19. “Non-Profit Climate Risk Management for Boards and Investors.” 50/50 Climate Project. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://5050climate.org/. ^
  20. “Non-Profit Climate Risk Management for Boards and Investors.” 50/50 Climate Project. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://5050climate.org/. ^
  21. “Sustainable Markets Foundation.” Sustainable Markets Foundation. Accessed November 8, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/sustainable-markets-foundation/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. James Rucker
    Officer/Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2013

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    50/50 Climate Project

    555 CAPITOL MALL STE 1425
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95814-4602