Investors with a collective £1.8 trillion ($2.2 trillion) in assets told high-emitting FTSE 350 companies that they expect to see climate transition plans on the agenda at their next annual meetings.
The 18 investors include the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, CCLA Investment Management, Sarasin & Partners and Ethos Foundation.
In letters to corporate chairmen at 35 companies, the investors said that for the past two years they asked the corporate boards to provide shareholders with the opportunity to vote on their climate strategy. Before that, in July 2021, the signatories and other investors argued for votes on net-zero transition plans.
"While we have been encouraged by the substantive responses, such resolutions during 2023 were far from standard practice, including among high-emitting companies," the letter said.
The letter focuses on companies in sectors considered to "face heightened climate risks, whose actions are essential to the accelerated action required to meet the Paris goals and where the risks we face as investors are substantial," it said.
Doug McMurdo, chairman of LAPFF, said in a release that "climate change is one of the biggest risks facing investors. Therefore, it only makes sense that companies provide shareholders with a vote on how they are planning and delivering the transition to a decarbonized economy. For those companies not providing its own investors with the opportunity to have a say on climate plans, the focus of shareholder attention will inevitably first fall on director elections, he said."