"Short-termism," as the report calls it, allows executives to "reap massive windfalls before the climate change their behaviors nurture starts hitting."
"Energy shouldn't cost lives."Chevron is one of the many companies engaging in short-term, high-stakes gambling with the planet's future.
"Pay incentives for the chief executives of the biggest publicly-held
fossil fuel companies in the U.S. are worsening climate change by
encouraging recklessness from management teams and rewarding companies'
strongholds over oil, gas, and coal reserves, according to a new report published Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies.Money to Burn: How CEO Pay is Accelerating Climate Change
(pdf), an annual analysis of executive excess, outlines the complex
cycle in which corporate bosses are given "enormous personal financial
incentive" to promote the development of fossil fuels, which in turn
allows them to donate ever-increasing funds to lobbyists and lawmakers
who promote climate denial policies.
In addition, corporations "lower the performance bar by super sizing
the number of equity-based rewards they grant executives during stock
slumps," the report states. That's the same kind of high-stakes gambling
that contributed to the 2008 economic crash and set up bankers for
enormous windfalls if shares increased even slightly after the recovery
began. "Our perverse executive pay system encouraged the recklessness that
led to the 2008 financial crisis," co-author and IPS Global Economy
Project director Sarah Anderson said on Wednesday. "These same misplaced
incentives are encouraging the recklessness of fossil fuel executives
that is putting the entire world at risk.""