June 22, 2020 Read More →

Investor pressure mounting to push changes in Mizuho’s coal plant lending policies

Reuters:

More investors are publicly backing a resolution to curb coal project lending that shareholders of Mizuho Financial Group are expected to consider this week, the first time such a step is to figure at the annual meeting of a Japanese listed company.

As a new front of stakeholder activism opens up in Japan, advisory groups such as the Institutional Shareholder Services group and Glass Lewis, which advise funds worth more than $35 trillion, back the proposal in recommendations seen by Reuters.

If Thursday’s resolution is passed, it could push Japanese banks, one of the last remaining major holdouts on financing coal, to live up to recent commitments to end lending for the dirtiest fossil fuel as climate concerns grow.

“This is a pivotal moment for companies to show their dedication to the future financial and climate-related sustainability of their business models,” said Dewi Dylander of Danish pension fund PKA.

PKA has about $50 billion under management and will vote in favour of the Mizuho resolution, Dylander, the fund’s head of environment, social and governance issues, told Reuters.

Swedish pension fund manager AP7, with $64 billion in assets under management, also supports the resolution, spokesman Mikael Hök told Reuters. It joins three investors who reiterated their support.

[Aaron Sheldrick]

More: Environmental shareholder activism comes to Japan as Mizuho faces climate resolution

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