Proxy Voting in the Anthropocene: 2021 U.S. Proxy Season Climate-Related Voting Trends

Proxy Voting in the Anthropocene: 2021 U.S. Proxy Season Climate-Related Voting Trends

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The 2021 U.S. proxy voting season marked an escalation of shareholder engagement on climate-related issues as well as an expansion of tactics.
  •  Many investors are moving beyond requests for disclosure to voting against directors for perceived failures of climate risk mitigation
  •  The 2021 season saw the advent of the Say-On-Climate proposal, an attempt to secure a dedicated ballot item that would enable investors to express views on a company’s management of climate-related risks on a recurring basis.
  •  The number of climate-related shareholder proposals as well as levels of support have grown over the past 3 years.
  •  The recent IPCC AR6 Synthesis report and 2021 US Proxy Season trends outlined in this report demonstrate that the days of regarding climate disclosure and risk as “non-financial” niche issues targeted by a relatively small number of activists and NGOs are over.

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