A new report from ShareAction claims US fund managers are lagging behind Europe in pushing for corporate action on climate change.
The report says that some of the largest US fund managers are not challenging companies on climate issues with their voting decisions. This compares with the most active stewards who are based in the UK and Europe. ShareAction looked at the shareholder votes of 57 of the world’s largest asset managers on proposals that would speed up corporate action on climate change. The range of proposals cover emissions reduction targets, climate reporting and governance, and corporate lobbying.
They found that that the 10 investors that are least supportive of voting for climate action are all based in the US. The five most likely to side with management on these issues are Capital Group, which supported less than 5% of climate proposals analysed, T. Rowe Price (5.3%), BlackRock and JP Morgan Asset Management (joint – 6.7%), Vanguard (8.3%), and Fidelity (9.3%). This is despite BlackRock, JP Morgan and Fidelity all supporting the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The five best performers overall are UBS Asset Management, which supported over 90% of the resolutions in the study, Allianz Global Investors (88.5%), Aviva Investors (86.9%), Legal and General Investment Management and HSBC Asset Management (joint 82%) and AXA Investment Managers (78.7%.) These asset managers are all based in Europe.
ShareAction also noted the success of a group of progressive investors seeking votes for climate governance resolutions at ExxonMobil this year. This includes BMO Global Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management, DWS, Schroders and Union Investments.