Strong Investor Support for Climate Initiatives at Big Financial Institutions

Financial Times reports a strong showing on climate initiatives:

A rising tide of investors have backed demands for climate change plans from Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of America this week, as lenders face continued pressures over the role they play in financing global warming. Three in 10 of voting shareholders, including some of the world’s biggest investors, backed the resolution on Wednesday for Goldman to set out a climate risk transition plan that describes how it is aligning its financing activities with targets to reduce greenhouse gas emission. This was despite the board’s recommendation that investors vote against the proposal. Wells Fargo disclosed on Thursday that almost 31 per cent of shareholders also voted for a transition plan resolution at the annual meeting on Wednesday. Similarly, at Bank of America, preliminary figures showed 28.5 per cent of shareholders who voted backed an equivalent resolution, also against the board’s recommendation...The level of support for the resolutions is a sign of the increasing demands on banks over their financing of carbon-intensive companies and projects. Norway’s oil fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, backed the transition plan resolutions at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, as did Legal and General Investment Management. The UK’s largest asset manager, LGIM, said it would also support the transition plan resolutions for JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley at forthcoming shareholder meetings. Institutional Shareholder Services, the influential proxy adviser used by large investors to guide voting decisions at annual meetings, had recommended shareholders back the transition plan resolutions this week. It has yet to issue its advice for JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.

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