Majority Action’s latest report on asset manager votes on climate change show little progress:
BlackRock and Vanguard voted for 99% of U.S. large capitalization energy and utility company-proposed directors and 100% of their say on pay proposals. BlackRock and Vanguard not only voted with management more often than most of their asset manager peers; they were also more likely to support management at these fossil fuel intensive companies than they did across U.S. equities overall.
BlackRock and Vanguard voted overwhelmingly against the climate-critical resolutions reviewed in this report, with BlackRock supporting just five of the 41, and Vanguard only four. At least 16 of these critical climate votes would have received majority support of voting shareholders if these two largest asset managers had voted in favor of them.
BlackRock and Vanguard voted against all of the U.S. shareholder proposals backed by the Climate Action 100+ investor coalition, backed by $34 trillion in assets, undermining the largest global investor efforts for accountability and transparency in the energy and automotive sectors.
In contrast, other large asset managers chose to set and enforce policies to hold corporate boards accountable if climate-related concerns are not adequately addressed. Legal & General Investment Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management, PIMCO, and Standard Life Aberdeen had the highest rates of voting against director candidates in the oil and gas and utility industries.