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Blackrock to vote for fewer climate provisions in 2022 than 2021

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Laurence “Larry” Fink, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., pauses as he speaks during the BlackRock Asia Media Forum in Hong Kong, China.

Justin Chin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, said it will likely vote to support fewer climate proposals from companies in its investment portfolio in 2022 than it did in 2021 because those climate proposals coming up for a vote this year are more exacting and demanding than in previous years.

On Tuesday, BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team published a preview of how it’s going to vote in the current season of company shareholding meetings. Blackrock’s Investment Stewardship (BIS) is a team of financial professionals that liaises between corporate governance of the companies it invests in for the benefit of its clients.

In 2021, BlackRock voted in favor of 47% of environmental and social shareholder proposals (81 of 172), the BIS said in its note.

In the current season, BlackRock is “likely to support proportionately fewer this proxy season than in 2021, as we do not consider them to be consistent with our clients’ long-term financial interests,” the BIS note says.

BlackRock will not vote for company changes that “implicitly are intended to micromanage companies,” BIS said. “This includes those that are unduly prescriptive and constraining on the decision-making of the board or management, call for changes to a company’s strategy or business model, or address matters that are not material to how a company delivers long-term shareholder value.”

Instead, BlackRock will favor measures which improve a company’s disclosure of information that help investors understand how well a company is positioned to adapt to climate-related changes. BlackRock wants to see specific “quantitative” information about a company’s scope 1 and 2 emissions and a company’s emissions reductions plans.

Scope 1 emissions are those that are directly connected to a company’s operations, including emissions from boilers, furnaces or vehicles that a company operates, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Scope 2 emissions are those associated with the electricity, steam, heat or cooling that a company purchases, and scope 3 emissions, the much more complicated segment of emissions to track and monitor, result from a company’s supply chain.

Environmental advocates argue the note from BIS is a sign that BlackRock is softening on its resolve to bring climate responsibility to the financial sector.

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2020 letter to other corporate executives is seen as a watershed moment for climate. In that letter, Fink said, “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.” And Fink, literally in bold type face, said “I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

Tuesday’s letter, however, was a disappointing step back from that early leadership, according to Adele Shraiman at the Sierra Club.

“Larry Fink claims to be a climate leader, but somehow there’s always a new reason why BlackRock can’t actually use its power to move meaningful climate action forward. The question of whether these resolutions were overly ‘micromanaging’ was asked and answered when the SEC rejected calls from banks to block shareholders from voting on them, but BlackRock would rather stand in the way of commonsense climate proposals and let big polluters off the hook,” Shraiman said in a written statement.

So too, according to Moira Birss, the climate and finance director at Amazon Watch, a non-profit advocacy organization.

“BlackRock claims that proposals to end the expansion of fossil fuel production are ‘too prescriptive.’ Yet the scientific consensus, and even the International Energy Agency, make clear that ending new fossil fuel production is the minimum needed to avoid catastrophic climate change that will negatively impact all investors — not to mention every living being on the planet. Shareholder proposals have evolved in line with what we need to address the escalating crisis; BlackRock’s voting has not.”

BlackRock did not immediately respond to request for comment.

In its BIS letter, however, BlackRock did say current geopolitical concerns are impacting its voting strategy this year also. For example, the war in Ukraine and resulting global efforts to wean off Russian oil are impacting global energy markets.

“Net exporters of energy are likely to be required to increase production, while net importers are expected to accelerate efforts to increase the proportion of renewables in their energy mix,” BlackRock said. “This set of dynamics will — at least in the short- and medium-term — drive a need for companies that invest in both traditional and renewable sources of energy and we believe the companies that do that effectively will produce attractive returns for our clients.”



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India Inc’s management confidence improves post Covid, shows AIMA Management Capability Development Index

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Indian companies are feeling more confident about their management competence as they recover from the Covid crisis, according to a study of management capability of Indian enterprises by All India Management Association (AIMA) and KPMG.

The study findings produced a higher overall Management Capability Development Index (MCDI) score this year at 74.5 compared to 71.6 in 2018.

The survey showed that women are more confident of capacity of their organisation than men as women rated management capability of their enterprises higher than men on the majority of the 10 yardsticks, including vision and strategic leadership, performance leadership, financial leadership, external relationships, integrity and corporate governance, and innovation and adaptability. However, women score their organisations lower than men in the areas such as people leadership, organisation, and application of technology and knowledge.

The study shows a lack of substantial score upgrades in the areas of application of technology and knowledge as well as innovation and adaptability. The score on application of technology and knowledge has gone up slightly, from 72.1 in 2018 to 74 now, despite the wave of digitalization during the past couple of years. The score on innovation and adaptability has also improved a little – from 70.3 to 71.6.

The decadal trends of self-rating by Indian management showed a strong bias towards ethics. Over the past five MCDI studies, India Inc has consistently given itself the highest scores on integrity and governance – in high 70s or low 80s. This year, the score on integrity and governance has peaked at 80.4.

The areas of biggest concern through the past decade have been the organisation capability and people practices, but there is a recovery on both counts this year. On organisation capability, since 2011’s peak score of 76.2, there have been dips but now the score has recovered to 71.5. The people leadership score has also recovered this year to 73.2 after dips through the past decade.

The decadal variations have been minor on many management parameters. The scores have hovered around mid-70s on competencies such as vision and strategic leadership, performance leadership, financial leadership, and external relationships.

“The MCDI report provides important insights to Indian management leaders to bolster their organisations as they prepare for realigning their organisations in a changed world,” AIMA President CK Ranganathan said in a press note.

“It takes immense management capability to navigate through uncertainty and ambiguity,” Ranganathan said.

The 2022 MCDI study was conducted across different sectors and different types and sizes of organisations to make it representative of Indian management.



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Delta 2023: Urhobo Renaissance Society Advocates Unity in Diversity

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Urhobo leaders

This is because, the last few weeks in the state and elsewhere in Nigeria have been characterised by a barrage of political commentaries and opinions across socio-political groups, associations and critical stakeholders in the the state. Unfortunately, some of these views, according to URS, “seem to divide us more than unite us as a people.”

One of the major submissions of the group is that an Urhobo son should be governor of Delta in 2023.

Below is the press statement by URS

2023 Governorship Election in Delta State: Matters Arising

The last few weeks in Delta State and elsewhere in Nigeria have been characterised by a barrage of political commentaries and opinions across socio-political groups, associations and critical stakeholders in the the state. Unfortunately, some of these views seem to divide us more than unite us as a people.

The URS wishes to join this conversation by propagating the doctrine of unity in diversity for the overall good of the Urhobo nation in particular, and Delta State in general.

We respect the right of the UPU as the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Urhobo nation to make crucial decisions on behalf of the Urhobo Nation.

By the same token,  we respect the right of persons and groups to lend their voices to the subject. However, we caution that such voices should be tactful, objective and devoid of divisive undertones at this crucial moment in Urhobo’s agenda to produce the Governor of State in 2023.

After studying the unfolding political planks and consulting critical political stakeholders in Delta state, The URS, in line with its non-partisan and neutral posture, joins the conversation with the following statement.

  1. We remind all stakeholders that an Urhobo ‘son’ must emerge as the Governor of Delta State in 2023. In effect, it is our utmost desire that Urhobo sons should emerge as governorship flagbearers of their respective political parties. That way, we are guaranteed that an Urhobo will eventually emerge as Governor. To that extent, we appeal to all critical stakeholders in all political parties in the state to work towards handing the ticket to an Urhobo son. In other words, our primary concern is the emergence of an Urhobo son as Governor in 2023;
  2. We believe that primary elections are within the purview of political parties and therefore have no plans of poking into the activities of political parties in their statutory responsibility of electing flagbearers. But because the eventual choice will directly affect the quality of life and development of Deltans, we must lobby and appeal that the candidate with the best qualification in human and capital development, experience and capacity to provide quality leadership for our dream Delta be handed the tickets of their respective parties. In effect, we are appealing to the delegate to please consider these criteria when they set out to choose the flagbearer of their respective parties. Also, we especially appeal to delegates from Delta central to think URHOBO FIRST when they cast their votes; and that no gratification of whatever kind should influence the choice of the eventual candidate. Therefore, to guide all delegates in their choice of the governorship candidate, we appeal that only the aspirant with a very clear and practical blueprint for the development of Delta state be allowed to lead the state;
  3. It is most desirable that the flagbearers of all the political parties in the Gubernatorial race are not imposed by any perceived Godfather(s) whether in or out of Government. Endorsements are a common feature of political contests in democratic climes and that should not necessitate caustic, insulting and derogatory attacks on perceived enemies. We are perplexed that most public commentaries in the state are tainted with party loyalty and the attitude of labelling enemies out of those who hold contrary views or differing strategies. We want to re-direct the minds of Urhobo delegates in the parties to issues of competence and allegiance to good corporate governance of the State.
  4. We salute the courage of the various Urhobo sons who have indicated their interest and preparedness to run for the primary elections of all the parties, and we also salute their supporters for their unflinching support. We however believe that the plurality of Urhobo aspirants is not helpful to our cause. We urge the various aspirants to begin a self internalized process of dropping individual ambitions to support a superior candidate of choice in the race. Let’s narrow the options. We must remind one and all of the need to stay healthy with their support, that only one aspirant will eventually emerge as flag-bearer, and that it will be counterproductive to burn all the bridges in the course of their respective support; and, most especially, because we still have a life of nationalism to live after the elections;
  5. To preserve the chastity and sacrosanctity of the gentleman’s arrangement of rotating the governorship position among the three senatorial zones of Delta state—a practice that has helped in dismantling mutual distrust, and erected mutual respect in its place, we call on other senatorial zones to support the Urhobo 2023 Governorship Agenda to sustain the reciprocity that has characterized the emergence of Governors in the state since the present political dispensation;
  6. We call on all Urhobo sons and daughters to be even more united at this critical stage of our existence as a nation; because in the long run, we are all pursuing the same goal of a united Delta, and an Urhobo Governor with the right mentality, capacity, experience and qualification to lead the industrialization of Delta state.
  7. Finally, we call on Governor Okowa to use his capacity as our Governor to provide a level playing ground for all political participants in the state, and across political parties to exercise their constitutional rights for the overall good of Delta state.

Long Live Urhobo Renaissance Society

Long Live Delta State

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Signed;           

Prof. Hope Eghagha – President

Prof. Joseph Abugu (SAN)- Vice President

Dr John Uwa- Gen. Secretary

Dr. (Mrs) Cassidy Treasurer

Omiregua Joshua Oweibo- Fin. Sec

Engr. Akpojoto Okiti

Mr Mideno Bayagbon

Mrs. Jite Ellen

Mr. Obaro Osah

Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

Prof. Sunny Awhefeada

Mr. Teddy Okumakebe

Chief (Dr) Richard Iyede

 



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OffGamers Adds Direct Top-Up Option for China Platforms – Corporate Governance News Today

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OffGamers Adds Direct Top-Up Option for China Platforms – Corporate Governance News Today – EIN Presswire

























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