Is the AGM a new staging ground for climate activism?
Wolfgang Kuhn is the Director of Financial Sector Strategies at ShareAction, a London-based NGO. Back in May, ShareAction coordinated the first ever climate resolution at a European bank, asking Barclays to a phase out lending to fossil fuel companies.
This new form of shareholder activism is different from classic environmental activism. As a behind the scenes effort, people like Wolfgang walk a fine line between playing nice and pushing for results. I wanted to understand the playbook of this new form of climate action. As Wolfgang explained the different acts in drama, I began to understand the incredible power of the process – how it can literally shift the rules of the game.
Wolfgang Kuhn is Director of Financial Sector Strategy at ShareAction with 20 years’ experience in fixed income markets. He has been on a quest for the right approach to sustainable investment since 2006.
His most recent role was that of Head of Pan-European Fixed Income at Aberdeen Asset Management, managing European credit and macro teams. Previously, he worked for UBS, Deutsche Asset Management and DG Bank.
Wolfgang graduated from Technical University of Berlin, having also studied at University of Wisconsin and University of Freiburg. Wolfgang is a CFA Charterholder, a Certfied EFFAS Financial Analyst (CEFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).
It’s time to get serious about sustainability – Professional Pensions, February 2019
Deutsche Bank: green laggard or leader? – Global Capital, May 26 2020
Investors blast EU’s omission of oil from ESG discolsures – Financial Times, May 2020
Barclays Plans Climate Finance Resolution Amid Activist Pressure – Bloomberg, March 30 2020
The problem with biomass: Why investors need to step up on the next climate challenge – Shareaction, April 21 2020
Banking on a Low-Carbon Future II
Wolfgang: Until recently banks were thought of as low carbon, um, corporates, because all they have is offices and now it starts to sink in that. They make all these investments in, um, power stations and plants possible.
So do they not have to take part of the responsibility?
Denise: Today’s episode is about climate shareholder activism.
The big question is: is the Annual General Meeting, known as the AGM, about to become a new staging ground for climate activism?
To find out, I talked to Wolfgang Kuhn, Director of Financial Sector Strategies at ShareAction, a London-based NGO. Back in May this year, ShareAction coordinated the first ever climate resolution at a European bank. The resolution was asking Barclays bank to phase out its lending to fossil fuel companies. Big ask; not an easy task.
However, the result was an unexpectedly spectacular 24%. Nearly one quarter of all Barclays shareholders voted in favour of a motion that probably would have been considered unthinkable, and a bit rude, a few years.
Now shareholder activism is different from classic environmental activism. It’s all behind the scenes stuff, and you have to walk a very fine line between being tough and playing nice.
So I wanted to understand the playbook of this new form of climate activism. And as Wolfgang explained the different acts in drama, I began to understand the incredible power of the process – how it can literally shift the rules of the game.
To find out how, stay tuned.
Denise: You have been at ShareAction for around two years, I believe so you’re relatively new. Uh, and before that, uh, you worked for two decades as a bond analyst. Could you just tell us a little bit about your professional journey?
Wolfgang: Um, yep. I started on the finance side in 1997 as a bond analyst.
Then in 2001, became a portfolio manager for a fixed income and have been a portfolio manager until 2018. part of my job as bond portfolio manager for corporate bonds and government bonds, uh, had been for a long time to look at how to integrate Sustainability responsibility. Um, ESG into investment processes. had the first discussions about that in 2006. And that was, uh, an interest of mine for had been for quite a long time. I had contact with ShareAction, which is a pressure group, an advocacy group think and ‘do tank,’ sometimes we call ourselves and they were interested in work on bonds. So I acted as a freelancer for a year. And then, uh, last autumn joined, uh, in my current role, which is about pushing asset managers, asset owners, banks, to adopt more ambitious standards of sustainable investment. And so a lot of my work is discussing standards, telling, um, investors, what it is we expecting. We try to do that as a, um, as a partner, not as a, an NGO, that points fingers. Um, it needs to be a partnership that, um, is respected on both sides that we do have ambitious asks and our partners are not always.
I’m comfortable or happy, uh, with, um, but, um, we try and do this in a, in a tone of voice that, um, is acceptable to everyone.
Denise: I’m fascinated, that you came from bonds, uh, into this world. It seems that it might be actually something quite unusual. Uh, so, um, I wanted to ask, um, is there anything in common between your, your everyday life as a bond analyst and the work that you do today?
Wolfgang: Um, bonds are always a little bit different and always a little bit less understood. And, um, equities have led the ESG revolution. If you want to call it, that. Bonds have been behind. But it’s a, in a sense, um, even possible to say that ESG is more natural to a bond investor because bonds. Has a very limited upside. You get your coupon and over the life of the bond, you can get your yield to maturity.
There’s not much upside. the upside is there for the equity holders. Um, and so for bonds, it’s mostly about evaluating the risks and making sure that there are no risks that are not adequately priced. So, um, climate change. And other challenges should come very easily to bond investors or debt investors or fixed income investors, however you want to call it.
Denise: Um, so you, you mentioned, um, share action is, um, like a think tank, right? Uh, and, um, which has been around since, when, when was Share Action first created.
Uh, we were, uh, founded a little bit over 10 years ago and, um, have been doing what we’re doing now for about 10 years. And what we’re doing is, um, activism.
We go to annual general meetings and ask tricky questions to companies. We organize or support shareholder resolutions in different countries. This past year, we organized one of ourselves with Barclays bank and we helped organize one in France with Total the oil company. Um, we build investor shareholder or more generally investor coalitions to, um, pull, push certain agendas. We do advocacy work, um, with our policy with UK government in Brussels, we engage with asset managers, insurance companies, pension funds, banks. We rank those institutions on the quality of their sustainability work in general. Um, and we work with individual, um, pension beneficiaries to help them get a better understanding of what it is their t pension funds invest in.
The overarching mission is to get. Financial institutions and investors and the companies that they invest in to respect the boundaries of the planet and to take responsibility for the impact they have on that planet and on the people that live on it.
Denise: Um, I believe shareholder activism, um, is, has, uh, a much longer history in the US compared to in Europe. And, um, there are these fantastic organizations in the US like, as you, so, uh, there’ve been around for 25 years. I believe. You’ve you’ve. You also work with them. Um, and then Europe, it’s, it’s something more recent.
Can you, um, can you explain why that is? Why, why, uh, why have Europeans, uh, woken up to this much later?
Wolfgang: It is more confrontational in the US. um, it could be, as I say that in America, the mantra of shareholder capitalism has just been followed much more strict by companies.
And so the notion that. Um, other stakeholders had something to say was a lot harder to push through, and that’s why some activists just have done this a lot longer, whereas in Europe, because everything is a bit more based on communication and debate, it has taken longer, um, for. Civil society, uh, but even investors to wake up and see that, that some developments aren’t going fast enough.
Um, there’s also a practical angle. It’s much easier to file resolutions in the U. than it is, uh, in Europe. On the other hand, it’s more easy to, for the sec, uh, to throw out resolutions, if they are seen as too prescriptive. I think in Europe, it is a bit easier. Um, although, you know, in the case of a Barclay’s resolution, it wasn’t easy because under UK law you need either 5% of the share capital, which is quite difficult to come by, or you need a hundred Colt filers.
Denise: Mmm. I think it’s a fascinating tool. I mean, I like this characterization you make between, uh, the it’s easier to have a hostile confrontation sort of via the boardroom, right.
Um, in the US than in Europe. Because if you think about France, uh, I think this Total was the first one in France. Right. They never had one before. And I think it’s got something to do with, uh, how difficult it is to make it happen because, uh, the, the requirements are even more demanding than in the UK.
Yeah. Uh, but France typically is the country where hostility, uh, you know, is institutionalized in the streets. Uh, and, and, and through, you know, you unionized formal protest movements. Um, so, so it’s certainly an interesting space to follow as, as, as that flows into the boardroom.
Wolfgang: But that touches on an interesting point because share action is walking a fine line between activism.
And, um, talking and engaging with, uh, corporations and financial actors. Do we want to be advocates of civil societies needs, which are clearly not met at the moment, but on the other hand, we can’t just demand and confront because then, well, how our theory of changes, talking about issues and trying to help.
Institutions see how they can go forward and how things are in their own interests is the best way. And when you talk about, um, French culture of antagonism between unions and, and company management, we don’t see ourselves as the, um, the unions in this. Since we are in between the tries to see both sides and is trying to push for it, um, a solution that can be accepted by the party that we pushing it onto.
And we by all means do need more. Um, aggressive organizations on our side of this is our theory of change. We tried to get it through dialogue, but the tension in the other direction is if there’s too much dialogue and too little result, then that doesn’t help either. And engagement is almost a bad word now because it can cover any activity and you don’t really know what it means or what it can achieve.
So, um, that is the potential we working in.
Denise: Um, I wonder if I could ask you, um, uh, for a sort of, um, a big picture view on, uh, your theory of change for the financial sector. Uh, the, the economist ran, um, a piece recently,talking about.
Green and sustainable finance where, um, they, I think their argument they’re trying to make is to give people a reality check amidst all the, uh, frothy talk and excitement around ESG, uh, saying the financial sector ultimately at the end of the day can be an enabler of change towards decarbonization, but cannot be a driver.
Uh, I wondered if you agreed or disagreed with this.
Wolfgang: Yeah, I don’t agree with it. I did agree with the comment about froth and green wishing that this certainly accurate, that needs to be tackled, but I thought the economist article t let off the industry too easily. And we often hear that from.
People in the financial industry that governments need to sort it out. Governments need to give us rules that we can have to do what we’ve done in the past, um, which is not worrying about any externalities because the externalities you have to take care of are priced in. So all you do is profit maximize and that kind of mindset worked in a world that was big with.
Single economic actors having incremental, um, uh, impact on the world. But now that we have single players that have such a big impact on the world, like the hundred, um, biggest companies that have, I think, 70% of, um, scope three emissions under their belt, it’s simply not a way of thinking, that Can survive.the idea that all I need to do is look out for my own good and government will do the rest.
We don’t think it’s sustainable. And we don’t think this is the way that people want organizations to behave.
And so saying financial industries are the enabler. Um, but not the solution. Well, they’re are the enabler of the, everything that’s going wrong at the moment as well, because they are financing it. And so, um, turning that around, I think is actually part of the solution.. So we want to push companies to lower the footprint, including scope three. That is everything that’s not directly emitted by you, but by your products or by yourself through, um, your supply chain, every organization needs to take responsibility for those footprints.
Um, but the investors who enable that kind of economic activity also need to look in the mirror. until recently banks were thought of as low carbon, um, corporates, because all they have is offices and now it starts to sink in that. They make all these investments in, um, power stations and plants possible.
So do they not have to take part of the responsibility? And the answer is yes. How do we get them to do that? How do we, do we get shareholders? To make themselves heard in, in boardrooms the way is through the clients of those institutional investors. So banks and asset managers, which are the asset owners, there’s the donors, the insurance companies, and the pension funds have ultimate clients, beneficiaries.
And ultimately it comes back to those beneficiaries because we ShareAction can’t dictate how a pensioner or a future pensioner wants to spend their money. But what we can do is make sure these future pensioners are heard because. Uh, there’s a good likelihood that a person that’s just starting out on their, um, career is not interested in ruining the ecosystem to maximize their pensions.
So the theory of change is linking the interests of the ultimate beneficiary of the end client. Um, Pension beneficiary, insurance client, fund buyer to what, the companies that are ultimately using the capital, um, and trying to make that push at every, uh, at every step that I’ve described.
Denise: So I’d like to talk about the Barclays campaign.
I read about this in May, um, back in May, in the Financial Times. And there was definitely a wow effect. Uh, I’m not sure if there have been so many of such resolutions on banks or something relatively new. My, my perception is that, um, in the past it’s been mostly this, the type of action focused mostly on fossil fuel companies. Uh, The mining and natural resources and so on.
Could you just, um, explain briefly, uh, you know, what, what was the, what was the end result of this campaign? Uh, and then we will try and deconstruct the history of the campaign and try to make it come alive for listeners.
Wolfgang: Yeah. So the end result of the campaign was that, uh, on May 9th Barclay’s staged their, uh, AGM and, uh, did that virtually because of COVID-19 and they, uh, had two votes. Um, there was a resolution 29 by the management. Um, the resolution was about. Financing Barclays, um, financing the transition to a low carbon economy.
And there was a resolution 30, which was, um, organized and pushed by, um, ShareAction together with the many coal filers. Uh, which was asking similar, uh, things, but it was more ambitious in not just asking for transition, but for a phase out of fossil fuels, not immediately, but eventually, and while the.
Resolution 29 by the management, um, which was fully expected passed with, um, great majority of 99.9, 7%. I believe. Um, we were very pleasantly surprised, blown away actually by the fact that 24% of, uh, investors also gave their vote for this resolution, because it wasn’t an either or you could do both. We’d actually asked investors to do both, but the fact that 24%, which is a quarter of all shareholders and that’s all shareholders, not just, um, people like ours who have a mission to drive change in the climate space.
A quarter of shareholders thought that the resolution that, um, share action had put forward was, um, worthwhile supporting. Despite management having said “Vote for ours”, we thought that was a great result.
Denise: Why Barclays, uh, where did that come from?
Wolfgang: Um, Barclays because until European bank and we are in Europe and Barclays, because they’re the biggest financer of fossil fuels in Europe.
Denise: What does that mean, to be the biggest financer of fossil fuels ?
Wolfgang: Um, their lending activity to the fossil fuel industry to oil and gas and coal, and, uh, controversial fuels like tar sands or Arctic drilling or deep sea drilling. They provide the sixth biggest, um, provider of capital, uh, in the world. Uh, in front they have Americans and Chinese institutions, but in Europe they are the biggest.
It was also the fact that we have, um, uh, a long history of engagement with Barclays. We’ve pushed for changes to their, uh, fossil fuel policies, We sent them a letter. In early 2019, um, on the subject and they didn’t even respond. So we felt, um, in summer of 2019 it’s time, um, Barclays is the biggest in Europe.
And in a way, the resolution was a logical next escalation to say, we’re going to get help from other, um, uh, investors and see whether we can push the board a little bit further.
Denise: Um, can I just ask before you got to this escalation decision, uh, I know you, uh, what was the in-person contacts and at what level with Barclays that you had before the resolution for the resolution, did you, was there any sit down with, you know, senior leadership, uh, or others?
Wolfgang: There was in the past, we talked to the, uh, people responsible for sustainability, uh, at the bank.
Um, as an NGO, we don’t get to, uh, talk to company management or boards, uh, necessarily, um, unless, you know, we have, uh, a bit of leverage. So once the resolution. Uh, had been filed, which took some, some organizational work before Christmas. Um, the board and top management was then willing to sit down with us and, uh, discuss this.
Denise: So, um, when we talked earlier and I tried to understand how this all works, uh, it, it struck me that this is a bit of a David and Goliath situation. You’re a small NGO. Uh, you’ve been politely, you know, trying to be heard that you’re not getting very much traction and, uh, towards the end of 2019, you, uh, I, I believe it’s you take the lead, uh, and then you try to coordinate a gang of small shareholders and a couple of, you know, the big players, uh, to file this resolution. Is that how it works? Did you have a lead role?
Wolfgang: Um, we did have a lead role. We wrote the resolution. We checked it with some other NGOs to make sure that they were on board and didn’t think that was in any way, um, conflicting with their own work. You can’t do this on your own. And then we needed to get to a hundred, um, co-filers uh, which was a lot of work and particularly institutional asset owners are, not easily convinced that what you’re asking is not just an NGO, trying to annoy a company, but actually makes sense.
Denise: Uh, so I think, um, um, as I was thinking about, um, how to tell the story, uh, it occurred to me that, um, in the five months, uh, after the resolution was filed, The drama, uh, and the developments is kind of is a bit roughly like the typical, uh, five act dramatic structure that you get in play.
Um, so I wondered if we could use that as a framing. Uh, so if, if, if you can imagine the scene. Uh, you’re in London and it’s before Christmas. Um, and you’ve, you’ve filed the resolution. Uh, and so in act one, normally what happens is that we’re introduced to the characters and the setting of the play. Uh, so, so what did this first act of the campaign look like? Who, who were the, who were the main characters and, and what’s going on?
Wolfgang: Yeah. The first act looks like, um, people around the cardboard box , um, checking the mail to see whether. There was filled in paperwork from co-filers. Uh, and they had filled it correctly and they did have the right, um, they had the share certificate, uh, um, and, um, you know, making sure the details for 150 co filings were correct.
And then scanning them all. And at one point, um, on the 20th of December, sending them to Barclays, uh, with a deadline of the 31st of December. And so it was a daily, uh, stand up in the morning. How many do we have? How many more do we need? Who do we need to talk to? Um, and then a big sigh of relief. So relief once we’ve done that.
And then the second act probably is, uh, starting in January. Talking to asset management companies, to investors who vote, who have potentially a lot of, uh, shares in Barclays, uh, have multiple percentage points of the share capital. Would they vote for our resolution? Would they declare their vote early on because that’s what makes other people think that it’s okay?
If a big asset manager has said, we are willing to do that. And we got that in Amundi, which is Europe’s biggest. listed asset managers that they said, yeah, this is exactly according to what we think you should ask Barclays to do, make a plan for decarbonization of the business. And so they said that publicly, which then made other investors more comfortable.
We had, at the same time, we reached out to our, um, network of individual investors, um, and activists to ask them to ask their pension funds, to push their asset manager to vote, um, with us in this, um, At the same time we started to have discussions with Barclay’s management and. As I said, these, these conversations were very, really good, very constructive.
Denise: Typically in act two, we start to see some conflict. Were you seeing any conflict at the stage of the campaign?
Wolfgang: And that conflict emerged in, you know, what the wording of the resolution was about. And Barclays was saying, well, we’re willing to, you know, a lot of things you’re saying makes sense, but there’s some things that we can’t subscribe to. You know, the term fossil, uh, phase out was, uh, was an important one. Barclays said, we can’t really go to our clients and say, we’re going to phase out the business you’re in.
And we were saying, you know, it’s awkward to do a transition, but. If we’re not yet talking about phasing out fossil fuels then what are we talking about? Um, and so the conflict was emerging. It was also emerging about when it became clear that we didn’t really want to go back on our asks to find a compromise then it emerged that, um, you might have something like a proxy war where management puts out one resolution and.
Uh, someone else puts out another resolution. Um, investors, a lot of investors said, that’s not ideal that’s we don’t want that.
Denise: Um, uh, that’s fascinating that the, the, um, the flashpoints in the discussions in January was around this word phase out. Um, I would assume that you can’t, um, you can’t edit a resolution once it’s been filed, right? The language is already set in stone. Was that what they were trying to achieve?
Wolfgang: Um, I think there was, it wasn’t clear how, uh, the change was going to occur, but, uh, there was an expectation that we would change our asks.
Um, in theory, we could have, uh, got, um, uh, a new signature of every co filer. To say that they were now, uh, supporting something else, but that wasn’t a particularly practical and in any way, um, there was consensus that our asks were the right asks and weren’t particularly ambitious
Denise: In act three, we have rising action towards a climax. So, uh, why don’t you talk about the next step?
Wolfgang: And so, the rising action is us speaking to investors, um, lobbying for our support, for our, uh, resolution. And Barclay’s doing the same thing and telling investors that. They were really on a good track.
So he didn’t really need this. And then I’d say the, the climax was when, um, Barclays published the papers for the AGM, which had to have all the resolutions in it and the recommendations and they publish their own resolution, uh, with a recommendation to vote for it. Um, and, um,
Denise: Can you describe how Barclays resolution was different from yours?
Wolfgang: Um, it was also saying that, um, the company was, um, Um, focused on, um, achieving, um, the goals of the Paris agreement. Although our, uh, resolution, uh, referenced that directly, um, Barclays was saying they had a target of reaching net zero by 2050, which was very, uh, which was very good. And we applauded that.
It’s a great ambition to have, um, uh, what we were saying that, uh, the. Sector policies on coal, for example, that they’d published just a few weeks earlier, weren’t ambitious enough to make this a goal really credible, uh, which was why, uh, we told investors that we thought it was a good idea to vote for Barclay’s resolution because it was a step forward.
And by voting it in with more than 75%, it was binding on management, but at the same time we thought the pressure should still be on. And we were telling, um, um, shareholders that it would be a good idea to vote for ours as well, to make sure that, uh, the board and the management understand that by passing their resolution, the job isn’t done, it’s just the beginning.
And, um, so that was sort of the high time when we were talking to investors saying, can you vote for both? Um, and investors were saying voting for both. It’s not necessarily, um, it doesn’t necessarily feel convenient or others were saying, Yeah, absolutely. That makes perfect sense.
Denise: Can I ask two questions.
One is, um, what was the wording around the phase out in the Barclay’s resolution? And secondly, you mentioned to me earlier that, um, this tactic their counter resolution in a way is highly unusual. So, um, I’m guessing that this sent a signal to you and your team that already they were on the defensive, even before the vote happens.
Wolfgang: Um, yeah, so the wording they used was transition, um, which of course makes sense, but in our eyes wasn’t ambitious enough. And so we thought, um, phase out needed to be in there. Um, the tactics were interesting, um, and is not usually used, although I would believe that now it is going to be used frequently.
Denise: Okay. So the next act, which is act four, is, is the vote itself? Um, almost, um, I don’t know if it’s like a foregone conclusion or falling action, but can you just set the scene?
What was the date, uh, where were you in the ShareAction team? Were you, how were you physically find this, uh, bearing in mind that this is in the middle of COVID-19 and, uh, everything is happening virtually.
Wolfgang: Yeah, so the AGM was in the morning and, uh, there were no, uh, uh, questions allowed. So it wasn’t the typical AGM and possibly it didn’t feel quite, uh, as it would have felt.
Had we been, uh, sat in the office and waiting for the result, uh, which only came the next day. Um, but then the result was 24%, uh, support of yes. Votes for resolution 30, which was brought up by ShareAction.
Denise: What, what were you hoping for as a good result?
Wolfgang: We didn’t have a firm expectation because. You know, this is not a scientific process and, uh, it’s not done every day.
So it was hugely dependent on what people would do, um, behind the scenes. there’s proxy advisors, um, that recommended against our resolution. Um, so it was a, it was a bit of an uphill struggle in the end. Um, I would been very happy with, um, a 10%, uh, vote in favor of our resolution. 24% was really, uh, not expected in the wildest dreams.
And if you count in the votes that had abstain, then you could even say that almost 30% had effectively told Barclays that they needed to up their and their ambitious ambition. So that was a fantastic moment. And we were very happy, unfortunately, uh, celebrating wasn’t easily done, uh, uh, over Zoom, but we did it anyway.
Denise: So then, um, act five is, uh, um, usually about tying up everything and some kind of denouement. Um, I think, uh, for this campaign, it is your debriefing process and trying to assess the impact of this campaign and going forward. Can you talk a little bit about that? I mean, I’m aware that shareholder activism is a long game and you had already been engaging with Barclays for some years before this.
So, um, Talk to me a little bit about the impact and what you were analyzing in the aftermath.
Wolfgang: Yeah. So, um, uh, act five is actually ongoing because, um, it’s about the analysis of who voted, how, and it’s now going to be very interesting to see, and we only get that data, uh, piecemeal wise, um, what certain investors are saying in public about their ambitions on sustainability.
And how they voted and, um, we will then go to those investors who didn’t support it and say, why did you not feel that it was worth supporting? Not just because we would say that because we, we came up with it, but a quarter of your fellow shareholders thought. It was a good idea to support this resolution.
Why didn’t you? And, uh, we’ll, we’ll see how, uh, how they respond, um, which will be very interesting. And they’ll give us the opportunity to, you know, ask for more consistency in, in, in what, um, investors. Uh, in the way investors act. So part of act five is to now use this momentum that we have to go to banks and investors and push for more and more ambitious, um, uh, announcements, but not stop at net neutrality, the neutrality of by 2050, because that’s a long way off. But follow that up with a very concrete, very short term steps and make those steps increasingly ambitious. That’s the work that lies beyond before us.
Denise: What have you observed so far of the impact on Barclays itself?
Wolfgang: Well, I think the impact is the ambition has, has changed and I don’t think anyone would argue that, um, Barclays would have bound itself through a resolution on net zero by 2050 without an NGO filing, uh, together with, with co-filers. And that’s our experience very often that some NGO civil society puts out an ambition.
Initially it’s dismissed as being too aggressive or too, uh, hands on or, um, not necessary. And then somehow investors come around and the company comes around and a few years later, um, suddenly what was deemed, um, unprofessional or, uh, economically, uh, illiterate or, um, in any way crazy, uh, is then suddenly something that, uh, management is, uh, very keen on and investors, uh, like to support it.
So it’s, um, I’m not sure it has to be that way, but it is the way that, um, the impact, uh, is only felt, uh, sometime afterwards, Often times then, um, you know, companies and investors claim that impact or themselves. Um, but that doesn’t matter. That’s, that’s not the point. The point is to have started that, uh, that dynamic.
Denise: Um, that’s it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating.
Um, uh, thank you for, you know, going into so much detail into this. Um, I wanted to ask you if, if you know, people who are listening to this, uh, want to get more involved in this type of, um, action. If they’re, you know, they’re small shareholders and, and they want to connect with others, uh, what should they do?
How can they learn more about your work?
Wolfgang: What they can do. They can come to our website. We have a dedicated portal for pension investors where we, if you had a question, what can I do? What should I do? We have some concrete steps where you could support us, um, where you could, uh, get more information you could.
Become an activist if you so choose. Um, I think that is a, is a very good first step. And through that, uh, you’ll be able to liaise with people at share action and get information. So, um, it’s a bit of a generic answer, but I would direct you to our website and our pensions portal and, um, see what you can do.
And if you’re an institutional investor, um, obviously you can, you can contact us as well. Um, there’s, uh, rankings and standards that we publish that you might find. Interesting.
Denise: Terrific. Uh, thank you. Thank you so much, Wolfgang. Thank you for coming on the show, it was a pleasure talking to you.
Wolfgang: My pleasure. Thank you.
Denise: That’s it for this episode, thanks for listening to New Climate Capitalism.
If you’d like to hear more from Wolfgang, you can find him on Twitter @wokuhn. To learn more about shareholder activism and the work of ShareAction, check out the resources tab for this episode at climatenarratives.co.
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Many thanks to Valentine Scherer and Victoria Yates for their help producing this episode, and to Lucas Laufen for the theme music.