Daily ESG Briefing: Overwhelming support for Shell’s transition plan while Follow This climate resolution gets 30% backing

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Support for the Paris-aligned targets proposal at Shell has more than doubled on last year, with 30% of shareholders backing it at the European oil major’s annual general meeting today, according to filer Follow This. Shell’s recently unveiled transition strategy, which the company also put to shareholders for an advisory vote, was also overwhelmingly backed at the meeting, with a reported 89% backing. This year’s climate votes at Shell have divided investors, with some like the Church of England Pensions Board opting to vote in line with Shell’s board in acknowledgement of the company’s recent climate commitments, and others like hedge fund billionaire Sir Chris Hohn who regard support for proposals such as Follow This’ as necessary to investors’ credibility on climate, especially given questions around oil major’s transition strategies.

Twenty global banks provide 60% of the commercial finance for single-use plastic production, according to new research from the Plastic Waste Makers Index. The Index finds only 20 companies are the source of half of all single-use plastic thrown away globally – with ExxonMobil topping the list. The largest financiers of single-use plastic production include Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.

Make My Money Matter, a campaign promoting sustainable pensions, has today launched the Green Pensions Charter. Companies signed up, including IKEA, Brewdog and EY, have committed to work with their pension provider to secure a green pension and support the growing call for pension providers to commit to net-zero emissions targets. 50 organisations have signed up so far. 

NGO BankTrack is launching a new website that will house all the organisations and campaigns pressuring banks to stop financing fossil fuels. The Fossil Banks No Thanks platform will also provide campaigners with tools and resources including extensive data on financing for fossil fuels by individual banks and detailed assessments of policies banks may have in place to restrict fossil fuel financing.

Deutsche Bank has become the first bank to join the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) as a full member. It will partner with ORRAA to encourage global action and private finance to invest in marine and coastal natural capital, to promote a sustainable blue economy and to build resilience in the regions most vulnerable to ocean-related risks, including sea-level  rise and extreme weather events.  

Ceres and the IIGCC have launched a tool to help investors engage companies “on their use of natural climate solutions”, such as forest protection or reforestation, in net-zero climate commitments. The organisations are calling for “radical transparency” on the use of carbon credits from natural climate solutions.  

Sustainability reporting is on the rise in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, according to new analysis by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The research looked at more than 1,100 listed companies in the region and assessed whether they published a sustainability report in 2020. In India, almost all companies analysed produced a report. In Bangladesh, sustainability reporting by listed companies increased by more than a third between 2018 and 2019.