Shareholders push SEC to tougher climate regime on US oil

Shareholders push SEC to tougher climate regime on US oil

Activist groups are calling on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to make it easier for shareholders to table climate resolutions at annual meetings of oil producers as part of another early test of the country’s efforts. administration to fight climate change.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, activists say, the SEC made it easier for companies to reject shareholder proposals on spurious grounds rather than subject them to investor votes.

“Over the past four years there have been a lot of surprising developments and I think it’s fair to say that many shareholders felt it was an unfavorable decision-making environment for shareholder proposals,” said Sanford Lewis, lawyer and director of the shareholder. Rights group.

“It was generally seen as a business-friendly environment under the last administration.”

The number of shareholder resolutions that the SEC ruled out of order has jumped under the presidency of Jay Clayton, who Trump appointed in 2017.

Companies were allowed to reject around 15% of environmental and social proposals in 2018, up from 9% in 2016, according to Institutional Shareholder Services, an independent advisory group for investors. This jump could have been higher if it had not been for a sharp increase in the number of shareholders withdrawing resolutions.

Joe Biden has vowed to make the fight against climate change a central pillar of his presidency. But a small majority in Congress will leave it to depend on regulatory bodies such as the SEC, the …

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