Investors call for vote on companies’ climate change plans

A group of more than 50 asset managers is calling for companies to disclose details of their progress on tackling climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, while also demanding shareholders be allowed to vote on these plans.

The initiative, coordinated by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and announced on 30 July, counts JPMorgan Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management and UBS Asset Management among its signatories.

“It is clear that shareholder voting and director oversight is needed to hold companies to account on their commitments to achieving a net zero future,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the IIGCC,  the Financial Times reports.

The group of investors’ demands for companies also include putting a board director in charge of climate change-related actions.

The call for more transparency on efforts being made by businesses comes amid a boom in interest in environmental, social and governance issues during the pandemic.

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Following a series of extreme weather events over the past few years, companies have faced increased pressure from shareholders, clients, customers and societies more generally to show they are taking the threat of climate change seriously.

A number of oil giants, including Chevron and ExxonMobil, have experienced shareholder revolts over climate change issues, as the strategy gains popularity.

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Allowing shareholders to vote on climate plans would allow them “to send a clear message to the board on the scale and pace of implementation,” Stephanie Maier, global head of sustainable and impact investment at GAM Investment, told the FT.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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