The ‘Aiming for A’ coalition of investors welcomed the news today that Anglo American’s Board is supporting its shareholder resolution calling for more transparency over climate change risks and opportunities to its business. This follows the news last week that Rio Tinto’s Board also supported the same resolution at its AGM, joining Glencore which confirmed its support in December.
Investors responsible for more than $8 trillion made the call on the mining giants with investors backing the resolution at Anglo American making up more than 5% of the company’s voting shares. The focus now shifts to achieving the required support of 75% of shareholders for the special resolutions to pass. The coalition already has a good track record of success, with similar resolutions presented last year at oil majors BP and Shell passing with more than 98% approval.
Supporters of the resolution include four of the world’s ten largest pension funds: Dutch funds ABP via APG and PFZW via PGGM, North American funds CalPERS and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, together with four of continental Europe’s largest ten fund managers, including Aegon Asset Management, Amundi Asset Management, AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas Investment Partners and eight of the UK’s ten largest pension funds and ten largest asset managers, including Railpen, USS, Aviva Investors and Schroders. Smaller investors like Churches and charities were also involved, including a dozen individuals with investment portfolios at Rathbone Greenbank Investments.
Bruce Duguid, Hermes EOS, who co-ordinated the engagement with the mining company Chairmen last year said: “Management support for these resolutions is a welcome acknowledgement of investors’ deep concern for the long term risks from climate change. Enhanced disclosure of strategic portfolio resilience to climate change should become the ‘new normal’ for exposed companies.”
Bill Seddon, Chief Executive of the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, which led the engagement with Anglo American said: “This resolution is stretching in its ambition, as well as supportive of the management team and follows a long period of collaborative engagement. We look forward to continuing this constructive dialogue as we continue the journey towards a low carbon economy.”
The investors were supported by ClientEarth lawyer, Alice Garton, who said: “It's essential that carbon intensive companies recognise the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and communicate this effectively to their investors. Anglo American's board has made a positive move towards this and we urge the company's shareholders to follow suit at the AGM by voting to approve this resolution.”
The ‘Aiming for A’ coalition believes that carefully-crafted supportive but stretching shareholder resolutions can play a positive stewardship role during the multi-decade low carbon transition, ensuring alignment to the interests of long term investors.
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