Proxy Talk: Climate Change and Stewardship
Glass Lewis conducted a Proxy Talk to discuss climate change-related shareholder proposals up for vote during the 2017 proxy season with a panel of experts.
For institutional investors and mainstream retail shareholders alike, climate change is increasingly at the top of the agenda. More and more companies are being targeted with shareholder resolutions requesting that they provide disclosure on their exposure to climate change risks, or take some sort of action in order to mitigate the impacts, and this trend has continued during the 2017 proxy season. Moreover, these proposals are increasingly resonating with voters: already this year, proposals at AES, Ameren and Marathon Petroleum received over 40% shareholder support.
Our panel includes leaders on responsible investment from both sides of the Atlantic, discussing trends in climate change-related proposals, how companies are responding to shareholder pressure, differences between the U.S. and European markets, and the impact of recent political events.
You can listen to the audio here.
- Anne Simpson, Investment Director of Sustainable Investing at the California Public Employees Retirement System
- Edward Mason, Head of Responsible Investment at the Church Commissioners of England
- Helen Wildsmith, Stewardship Director of Climate Change at CCLA
- Michael Garland, Assistant Comptroller of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment for the Office of the New York City Comptroller
- Courteney Keatinge (moderator), Director, ESG Research, Glass Lewis
- Welcome and background (0:50)
- Anne Simpson (3:06)
- Edward Mason (6:45)
- Michael Garland (9:08)
- Helen Wildsmith (12:51)
- How have 2017 shareholder proposals changed from 2016? (Anne & Michael; 16:05)
- Have we seen positive developments as a result of 2016 SHPs? (Michael & Anne; 20:49)
- Context for Exxon resolution, 2 degree scenario analysis (Edward & Michael; 26:19)
- How does CalPERS assess and target companies? (Anne; 30:37)
- What approach is the Aiming for A coalition taking? (Helen; 34:29)
- How are Aiming for A companies doing on meeting their commitments? (Helen; 36:45)
- Do European and US investors take different approaches? (Edward; 38:50)
- Have recent political events impacted your thoughts on climate change risk? (Anne & Michael; 42:50)
- Wrap-up and follow up (50:41)
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