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
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...