Big pension funds start asking hard climate change questions

Business

Big pension funds start asking hard climate change questions

Easy for boards to fob off environmentalists, but tone changes when large shareholders start making a noise

Warren Thompson

In the wake of Sir David Attenborough’s recent pronouncement that climate change cannot be reversed, only slowed down, panic regarding the effects of the phenomenon are making their way – sometimes forcibly – onto the agenda of corporate SA.

Climate change-related questions were the defining features of the annual general meetings of both Sasol (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=SOL) and FirstRand (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=FSR) last week.

Sasol’s engagement with non-governmental organisations – which were permitted to ask questions at the meeting as a result of obtaining a proxy shareholding – was more direct given the company is one of SA’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide...

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