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Shareholder proposals asking U.S. banks to cease the financing of new fossil fuel supplies failed to win the favor of investors at their Tuesday annual meetings.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup all faced shareholder proposals seeking commitments to wind down fossil fuel financing at their April 26 annual meetings.
The proposals, filed by Trillium Asset Management, Sierra Club Foundation, and Harrington Investments, respectively, criticized the banks for continuing to finance the expansion of fossil fuels despite having set net-zero commitments.
According to preliminary results, the proposal at Citigroup won 13% support, with less than 11% of shares at Bank of America and Wells Fargo cast in support of the proposals.
This represents a hefty decrease in support for environmental shareholder proposals compared to the previous proxy season. The 39 environmental shareholder proposals subject to a vote at U.S.-listed companies in 2021 won 44.3% average support, Insightia Voting data reveal.
Russia’s war on Ukraine and its implications for the energy sector may have some part to play in investor voting on sustainability proposals.
Monex CEO Oki Matsumoto told Insightia earlier this month that he suspected the conflict “may result in some significant changes in terms of environmental governance.”
“So far we have not seen any countries pushing back against the growing environmental juggernaut, in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but we may see some pushback as energy resources grow limited,” he said.