In the news: ‘French MPs propose annual shareholder votes on Say on Climate’

Say on Climate news from Responsible Investor, Reclaim Finance, Money Management and more.
17 April 2024
annual shareholder climate vote

From a new French mandate on annual shareholder votes on Say on Climate to the most recent details from the Woodside backlash, here is what is in the news:

French MPs in new push to mandate Say on Climate votes

Responsible Investor, 10th April 2024

Responsible Investor reports that in order to develop France’s business landscape, a set of amendments proposed by French legislators would require listed companies to secure shareholder approval for their climate transition strategies, aligning with the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). Championed by Green party MP Eva Sas, the amendments aim to bolster transparency and facilitate more robust dialogue between investors and corporations. These proposals include annual shareholder votes on climate strategies and repercussions for executive bonuses if plans are rejected. Initially turned down by the Finance Committee, the amendments are under reconsideration, with a Senate review scheduled for May 14.

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ENGIE’s AGM: Shareholders must vote against gas expansion

Reclaim Finance, 15th April 2024

Major global power company, ENGIE, is under scrutiny for its ongoing gas expansion. Critics argue this contradicts its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 and limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Despite investing in renewable energy, ENGIE plans substantial expenditure on new gas-fired power plants, contradicting the International Energy Agency’s recommendations for reducing gas usage in power generation. With its Annual General Meeting approaching, Reclaim Finance urges shareholders to vote against strategic resolutions linked to gas expansion, highlighting the company’s failure to align with the Paris Agreement’s objectives. This stance challenges ENGIE’s reliance on disputed technologies like carbon capture and biomethane, signaling a critical juncture for shareholder influence on the company’s climate strategy.

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ESG comes to the fore for asset managers’ voting

Money Management, 14th April 2024

This year, asset managers are prioritizing financial and sustainability impacts in their voting, influenced by a surge in investor demand for ethical investments, reports Money Management. According to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, 88% of investors expect ethical practices, a rise from 83% in 2022. In response, the publication says financial institutions are boosting transparency and verification of investments. Major managers like Fidelity International enforce strict climate governance through annual shareholder votes on climate strategies, while VanEck uses Glass Lewis’s ESG guidelines to support environmental sustainability proposals.

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Inside the backlash facing Australia’s biggest energy company

The Sydney Herald, 13th April 2024

In Western Australia, Woodside Energy is spearheading the nation’s most substantial fossil fuel project in a decade. According to The Sydney Herald, the company intends to upgrade its Pluto gas plant to process gas from the Scarborough field, with the aim of supporting decarbonization efforts in Asian nations. However, despite these ambitions, the project is under intense scrutiny. Woodside, under the leadership of Richard Goyder, is encountering resistance regarding shareholder approval of its climate strategies, as many perceive them as insufficient in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The impending shareholder vote on both its climate transition plan and Goyder’s re-election will prove critical, the publication argues — especially given the opposition from influential proxy advisers and institutional investors who are concerned about the company’s environmental impact and strategic trajectory.

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AllianzGI to vote against energy firm’s climate plan and board chair

Citywire, 10th April 2024

Citywire reports on AllianzGI plans to vote against Woodside Energy’s climate plan and the re-election of its board chair, Richard Goyder, due to the plan’s failure to meet Paris Agreement standards. Criticizing the use of carbon credits for Scope 1 and 2 emissions as inadequate, AllianzGI argues for a focus on direct emission reductions, including Scope 3. These issues will be addressed at Woodside’s AGM on April 24, where shareholders will vote on the matters.

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17 April 2024