The US AGMs are a teachable moment for institutional investors! And who will make the learning happen?

Climate disruption

Despite some increase in votes for more transparency about the strategic engagement by energy companies with climate change challenges, investors have failed to send as clear a signal to these companies as they should and could have.

This continued prevarication represents a lack of leadership on behalf of the major investors, who are showing a worrying inconsistency in how they vote on similar resolutions in different markets.

A radical energy transformation should cause neither fear nor resistance from any strong organisation.  Instead it should be viewed as an opportunity for innovation, creativity and sector leadership.  Large diversified investors who say they act responsibly and think long-term should be doing much more to walk their talk and this is particularly important in the case of the major investors in the energy sector, many of whom are US mutual funds.

This issue will be even higher profile now in 2017 and investors who voted the wrong way (or almost as bad, abstained) will have some hard questions to answer, assuming clients who say they are concerned about climate risk learn from this set of AGMs.

Dr Raj Thamotheram, CEO, Preventable Surprises

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