- In 2021 as in 2020, the majority of environmental and social-related shareholder proposals around the world were related to climate change and/or climate lobbying. More than half of the climate-related proposals were seen in the financial sector, the oil & gas sector, and the mining sector.
- Climate related shareholder proposals were seen in 14 markets in 2021 – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States – compared to twelve markets in 2020. There were 88 climate-related shareholder proposals that were voted on in 2021 compared to 65 in 2020.
- Shareholder proposals requesting disclosure of emissions reductions goals remained one of the most prolific type of climate-related proposal in 2021. Globally, the average level of support received by these proposals was 42.1 percent in 2021, up from 29.2 percent in 2020. Shareholder proposals requesting “Say on Climate” votes received average 32.7 percent support in 2021.
- 2021 was the first year in which management-presented “Say on Climate” proposals were seen, with 26 worldwide. 19 were at European companies, 3 in North America, 3 in South Africa and 1 in Australia. On average, the proposals received approximately 93 percent support in 2021. So far in 2022, the majority of similar proposals have also been at European companies.
- The number of management-presented “Say on Climate” votes in 2022 to date is already higher than in full year 2021 (36 votes to date in 2022 compared to 26 for the full year in 2021). But the extent to which this will result in a sustained rise in Say on Climate votes beyond 2022 is difficult to forecast.
By Julien Abriola, Kathy Belyeu, Laith Cahill, Arnaud Cavé, Enver Fitch, Vas Kolesnikoff, Fassil Michael, Catherine Salmon, Jeppe Skov-Andersen.