According to the study, funds in hurricane-affected areas or hurricane-prone areas were up to 38% more likely to vote for eco-initiatives compared to areas that weren’t.

Researchers Guosong Xu and Eliezer Fich speculate that such a lack of electoral support is driven by shareholders’ perception that climate change is not an immediate concern.

Xu said, “Proposals related to climate change have grown steadily in recent years, reflecting increasing investor demand for corporate responsibility. However, despite their popularity, these proposals generally receive insufficient support. “

Progress in clean energy “far too slow to sustainably reduce global emissions”

He pointed to a UN report that found that only 2.8% of eco-initiatives receive enough votes to pass at shareholder meetings held from 2006 to 2020.

“Our study seeks to better understand why these initiatives receive so little support, and what it takes to get them through successfully,” he added.

To complete the study, the researchers analyzed the voting records of US companies’ funds between 2006 and 2020 according to the Institutional Shareholder Services Voting Analytics database. Xu confirmed that over 357,000 votes from over 12,200 unique funds were analyzed.

Xu and Fich then mapped the location of each fund according to the country’s federal information handling standards of the 2010 census, in order to identify the locations of the hurricanes.

The research also found that the favor of eco-initiatives tended to be temporary, with investors returning to their previous positions within three years.

“The instances where unconditional support was found for climate proposals did not differ between funds located inside or outside hurricane-prone areas in hurricane-free years,” they said.


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