Shareholder support for Global Warming shareholder resolutions has been creeping up over the past three years. In 2006 a climate change resolution achieved a record 39% support by shareholders. This was put forward by the Nathan Cummings Foundation at Standards Pacific Corporation.
A recent article by Bill Baue of SocialFunds entitiled Mutual Funds Inch Toward More Conscientious Proxy Voting on Social and Environmental Resolutions makes this case. It is based a collaborative analysis of the data that I have gathered.
However, support in this area has yet to really gather momentum amongst mainstream funds.
Average shareholder support on climate change and energy efficiency-related resolutions has increased less than four percent since 2004. No more mainstream funds supported at least one global warming issue in 2006 than did in 2004. Counting only progressive resolutions in this category, no more resolutions were presented for shareholder vote in 2006 than in previous years.
So credit is due where credit is earned. The following mainstream funds supported at least one of the progressive resolutions on Global Warming and Energy Efficiency in 2006:
• ABN AMRO
• GOLDMAN SACHS
• JOHN HANCOCK/MIT
• JP MORGAN
• LEGG MASON
• LORD ABBETT
• MORGAN STANLEY
• NEUBERGER BERMAN
• SMITH BARNEY
• T ROWE
• WELLS FARGO
It almost goes without saying that this issue would be supported by SRI funds, including (for those that voted on the issue):
• GREEN CENTURY
• MMA PRAXIS
Note that I distinguish progressive resolutions in this category from those that appear to have a conservative agenda aimed at stalling progressive change in this area. In all, there were five such resolutions in 2006. These were filed on or behalf of groups such as the Free Enterprise Action Fund and called for companies to revisit the scientific evidence on climate change in order to assess whether expenditures in increasing energy efficiency were justified. These have been omitted from the analysis.
Fund families’ votes on each of the 2006 Global Warming/Energy Efficiency resolutions have been detailed at the fundvotes.com website.