Shareholders want a voice on climate
In SA, companies and asset managers should prepare for a more assertive and informed shareholder activism movement in the near future
BHP shareholders have filed two resolutions for consideration at the company’s annual general meetings in Melbourne and London. The first is a proposal to obtain more shareholder oversight in company decisions through nonbinding shareholder resolutions and the second seeks to exercise that oversight in relation to the company’s position on climate change. These resolutions are part of a global movement towards greater shareholder engagement, particularly in relation to climate change. The recent approval by ExxonMobil shareholders of a nonbinding resolution calling for its management to report on risks posed to the company by climate change is an example of the potential for shareholder activism to drive changes in company behaviour. In SA, the stage is set for shareholders to become part of this global movement, and a responsible investment and shareholder activism initiative in the environmental and social justice space will be launched before the end of 2017. Shareholders of list...