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In a year when social issues shot up the investment agenda on the back of the Covid crisis, it was still climate change that dominated engagement efforts in 2020.
Having been hit with shareholder proposals calling for Paris-aligned targets, Europe’s largest oil majors have one by one unveiled 2050 net-zero ambitions this year. While many investors have seen the announcements as a sign that engagement is really working, some have been less convinced - Sarasin & Partners warned in May that, without more detail, the commitments remain “empty promises”. And with a new (and already successful) investor-led campaign to get companies to introduce votes on their climate strategies at annual meetings, the fleshing out of these high-level ambitions will come under even more scrutiny in 2021.
In the US, investors again found …