Climate Change and Proxy Voting in the U.S. and Europe

Climate Change and Proxy Voting in the U.S. and Europe

DECEMBER 17 2018

As the world came together in Katowice, Poland for the annual U.N. climate conference last week, institutional investors were also present, as they reiterated their climate commitments through at least three side conferences geared towards financial market participants. Host country Poland’s own stance on climate change is similar to how torn the investment world is on the issue: Poland is one of Europe’s most fossil fuel-dependent economies, with 80 percent of energy produced by burning coal. However, Poland is the first European country ever to issue a Green Bond – even before climate change poster child France, which has implemented reporting requirements and organized climate summits for investors endorsed by President Macron. Institutional investors are in the same situation: While many have launched ground-breaking new investment strategies and commitments to tackle climate change, these initiatives are often small in comparison to their core assets and are merely a modest first step vis-à-vis the challenges and risks that climate change poses.

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