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

Updated 9 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. It's also unclear how many people were killed or wounded, but the Lebanese Red Cross has told AP that casualties number in the hundreds. Reuters reports that at least 10 people have been killed, citing security sources.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 18,349,260 — Total deaths: 695,550 — Total recoveries — 10,951,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 4,732,418 — Total deaths: 155,942 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response.
  4. Public health: 40% of Americans continue to put off medical care.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
  6. Business: Low-income households are struggling to pay energy bills — Construction spending falls for 4th straight month.
Updated 54 mins ago - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.