Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Shocking – its almost like company boards and many of their shareholders have decided climate change does not pose a threat to their operations.
Investors struggle to make US companies change tack on climate change
Number of shareholder-backed environmental proposals tumbles
Barely a dozen proposals on environmental issues put forward by shareholders reached a vote across 1,500 of the largest US companies, raising questions about institutional investors’ determination to push for meaningful corporate action on climate change.
The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a new stance in 2018 and began dismissing some environmental proposals as impermissible attempts by shareholders to intervene in company affairs.
Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel at As You Sow, a shareholder campaign group, said the SEC’s shift had made the process of challenging companies more difficult.
“The SEC has introduced more uncertainty into the process with its dismissal of some motions on environmental issues as unsuitable attempts at ‘micromanagement’ of ordinary company business by shareholders,” said Ms Fugere.
“Questions need to be asked as to whether large institutional investors are acting in accordance with their fiduciary duties to clients or if they are continuing to provide support for companies that are contributing to environmentally damaging climate change,” said Ms Fugere.Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/d0c4af5f-0004-3d0f-8238-e28be38a8327
Given the cost of pointless green virtue signalling, and the competitive disadvantage unnecessary costs can create, I’m comfortable that companies which reject climate action are taking their fiduciary duties very seriously.