Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Climate shaming retirement savings fund managers who don’t comply with the green agenda.
Top super funds increasingly vote down climate resolutions
By Charlotte Grieve
June 8, 2020 — 8.00pm
Eight major super funds have been criticised for voting against the majority of shareholder proposals on climate change at recent annual general meetings despite being members of an investor group pushing for companies to take action on climate risks.
AMP, AustralianSuper and First State Super are among the funds singled out in a report by the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) for voting down more than half the climate-related shareholder proposals over the past three years.
“The issue here is – is there a difference between what funds are telling their members and what they’re actually doing? If they’re saying they’re active owners and their voting behaviour says something different, that is a real concern,” ACCR’s climate director Dan Gocher said.
Ms Davidson said measuring the number of shareholder resolutions approved by super funds was not indicative of their commitment to climate change as some proposals lacked merit.
“Shareholder resolutions are quite a blunt instrument and in our view sometimes failure to support a shareholder resolution is because the resolution itself isn’t too good,” Ms Davidson said. “I genuinely believe super funds are more focused now on climate change than they ever have before and that is leading to change at companies.
“Sometimes it is slower than everyone would like but at the same time change is happening.”
…Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/top-super-funds-increasingly-vote-down-climate-resolutions-20200602-p54yln.html
I agree that savings fund managers should not lie to their investors. If fund managers have been deceiving retirement savers about their climate action intentions, they deserve to be exposed.
There are plenty of green funds for people whose highest priority is climate change. But green funds represent a small fraction of the total investment pool.
The green response to lack of public interest appears to be to try to inflict their agenda on everyone, by pressuring the industry to turn all savings funds into green funds.