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A new analysis finds that in 2017 the world's largest asset managers often declined to support shareholder resolutions that pushed large power and oil companies to respond more aggressively to climate change risks.

Expand chart
Data: Peterson, et al., 2018, "Asset Managers and Climate-Related Shareholder Proposals: Report on Key Climate Votes", 50/50 Climate Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: The report arrives as activist investors and their allies are increasingly pushing large energy companies to disclose more about their plans to address climate change. There's a particular focus on pushing companies to model how their business will fare in a hypothetical carbon-constrained world in which emissions are on a trajectory to hold the global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

The details: Click here to read the full report from the 50/50 Climate Project, a nonprofit group that urges institutional investors to use their leverage on the topic.

  • It tallies the frequency with which 24 of the largest asset managers supported what the 50/50 Climate Project selected as "key" resolutions during the 2017 proxy season.

One big finding: The behavior of big institutional funds matters a lot, as only a few of the biggest asset managers would have been able to affect key climate-reporting proposals at energy and utility companies last year.

  • "If either of the top two asset managers, BlackRock and Vanguard, had voted yes on any of ten or eight key climate proposals, respectively, those proposals would have received a majority of support," it states.

One big question: Whether BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, will take a more activist stance going forward in light of CEO Larry Fink's recent open letter to companies urging a greater focus on "social purpose."

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."