Shareholder Activism On Climate Change: Evidence From Shareholder Resolutions Filed Against Canadian Oil, Gas, Utility And Pipeline Companies
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AbstractShareholders play an important role in corporate governance and are increasingly concerned about the impacts of climate change. This paper examines shareholder activism – in the form of shareholder resolutions – on climate change and how companies disclose climate change-related information. I compile shareholder resolutions on Canadian oil, gas, utility and pipeline companies from 1987-2018 and how investors voted on those resolutions. I also examine climate change-related corporate disclosure from 2013-2017. Climate change received the greatest number of shareholder resolutions, many of which asked for disclosure and focussed on carbon asset risk. Larger companies were targeted and resolutions were filed by environmental, social and governance funds, faith-based organizations and financial institutions. The response of institutional investors to these resolutions has varied. Standardization of corporate social responsibility reports using the Global Reporting Initiative has fallen over the reporting period, although CDP scores remain consistent. My study provides recommendations for better disclosure practices.
DepartmentSustainable Energy Development
Haskayne School of Business
Schulich School of Engineering