Guest essay by Eric Worrall
As global fossil fuel demand surges, a shareholder resolution by Commonwealth Bank of Australia to stop fossil fuel lending was overwhelmingly rejected by 86% of shareholders.
Investors reject call for Australia’s CBA to stop fossil fuel funding
CONTRIBUTOR Paulina Duran
OCT 13, 2021 3:45AM EDT
y Paulina Duran
SYDNEY, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA.AX investors on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a resolution calling for the lender to stop financing new fossil fuel projects, highlighting the resistance in the resources-reliant country to climate action.
The resolution, backed by just 14% of voting shareholders at the bank’s annual general meeting, comes ahead of the United Nations’ COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this month, when Australia will be under pressure to reduce its carbon emissions.
The resolution also asked Australia’s largest lender to publish targets to cut its fossil fuel exposures, consistent with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but was not supported by CBA’s board.
“The Board remains fully committed to CBA playing its part in limiting climate change, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and supporting the transition to net zero emissions by 2050,” Chairwoman Catherine Livingstone told investors at the virtual meeting.
Blackrock, one of the world’s largest asset management companies, which has made a big song and dance about demanding everyone support Net Zero the last few years, was one of the shareholders which OPPOSED the CBA fossil fuel ban resolution.
Blackrock rejects call for Australia’s CBA to stop fossil fuel funding
By Paulina Duran
SYDNEY (Reuters) – BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest money manager, voted against a resolution calling for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) to stop financing new fossil fuel projects, it said late on Wednesday.
CBA’s largest shareholder said it opposed the resolution, which also asked the bank to publish targets to cut its fossil fuel exposures consistent with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, because it was overly prescriptive.
“(It) risks unduly constraining management’s ability to make business decisions,” BlackRock said in a statement on its website.
“Further, the company has demonstrated its commitment to integrating climate risks into its long-term strategy, including Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)-aligned reporting since 2018 and a stated goal of net zero emissions by 2050.”
As the wheels come off COP26, and news spreads of China, India and Europe’s catastrophic self inflicted coal shortages, investors like the CBA shareholders are waking up fossil fuels will remain an essential component of the world economy for the foreseeable future.
via Watts Up With That?
October 15, 2021 at 12:15AM