Investors

BlackRock to Vote Against More Climate Resolutions in 2022

Published on: 12 May 2022 07:51 PM
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BlackRock, the leading investment management company, said it would vote against more climate resolutions in 2022. The company pointed out that most shareholder resolutions have become too extreme.

According to BlackRock, new US laws have permitted a wider range of ideas on proxy ballots, which have roughly $10 trillion in assets. It went on to say that Russia's invasion of Ukraine had changed the environment, so more short-term investments in the production of traditional fuels were needed to make energy security better.

The group was worried about plans to stop giving money to fossil fuel companies, force them to shut down facilities or set strict goals for reducing emissions for the companies' supply networks and customers.

The company said, "We do not consider them to be consistent with our clients’ long-term financial interests."

BlackRock has become a leading advocate for businesses to embrace renewable energy. In January 2020, CEO Larry Fink threw down the gauntlet, declaring that "climate risk equals investment risk."

Last year, the organisation voted in favour of 47% of shareholder resolutions on the subject and backed activist hedge fund Engine No. 1's successful drive to put directors on the board of ExxonMobil, a campaign that urged the oil giant to face climate change more aggressively.

The stewardship team said that BlackRock's position has not changed and it would continue to support proposals that called for enhanced disclosures or pushed companies without a transition plan to develop one.

BlackRock intends to break with activists on ideas that it considers micromanaging or against shareholders' financial interests.

For example, the money manager voted against two directors at Australia's Whitehaven Coal "to signal persistent concern that the company is not proactively or ambitiously managing the climate risk," but also voted against a shareholder proposal that required detailed disclosure on how the company would wind down its coal operations.

The Conference Board has cautioned that "a fresh (and potentially more intense) wave of [shareholder] proposals is on the way," and early reports suggest that a record number of proposals have been filed in the United States.

In its heightened scepticism of activist plans, BlackRock is not alone. Occidental Petroleum shareholders decisively rejected a recent proposal requiring the corporation to set mo specific emissions reduction targets. The corporation had resisted the plan by claiming that it already has the most ambitious climate goals in the US oil industry.

Source: BlackRock

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