From the end of April to the beginning of June 2022, the major economic and financial players will be reporting to their shareholders and presenting their strategy. This AGM season is the first since the release of flagship reports from the IEA and the IPCC, which demonstrates that new fossil fuel projects are not compatible with efforts to limit global warming below 1.5°C.
The AGMs provide an opportunity for banks, insurers and investors to finally prove the reality and effectiveness of “shareholder engagement” by taking strong stances and votes against fossil expansion, and by using their power as shareholders to push companies to effectively transition away from fossil fuels. Some investors are increasingly vocal on climate issues: filing climate resolutions, calling for shareholder consultation through “Say On Climate”, rebelling against boards of directors for climate inaction. However, too many institutional investors are still supporting fossil fuel companies despite their misaligned and toxic oil and gas plans. Will shareholders step up this year?
Reclaim Finance will attend AGMs of the main players in the Paris financial center and raise questions and concerns about their climate strategies. All are members of coalitions committed to achieving carbon neutrality and limiting global warming below 1.5°C. Most of them have announced their decarbonization targets, and yet, almost all of them still unconditionally support companies developing new fossil fuel projects, contrary to scientific recommendations.
This year, financial players must finally and publicly recognize the need to put an end to oil and gas expansion and operationalize this commitment by COP27. As shareholders, they must also take immediate action during the AGMs of oil and gas majors, energy utilities, and other high-carbon sectors, by:
→ Blocking fake climate plans by voting against incomplete and insufficient “Say on Climate”;
→ Supporting shareholder resolutions aimed at strengthening corporate climate plans;
→ Opposing the re-appointment of Directors at companies that persist in developing new fossil projects.