Group of activist shareholders want Sasol to speak candidly about climate lobbying

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Sasol’s factory in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

  • Just Share and Aeon Investment Management want Sasol to detail its climate lobbying activities.
  • Minority shareholders say the resolution has nothing to do with their stake in the company, as larger shareholders often do not play an activist role.
  • Just Share is known for pushing companies to adopt transparent climate change policies.

Sasol was invited by two minority shareholders to describe its climate lobbying activities in its climate change report for 2022.

Nonprofit shareholder activism organization Just Share and Aeon Investment Management say Sasol’s report includes a “brief assessment” of its alignment with industry associations and concludes that all industry associations assessed are aligned with goals of the Paris Agreement.

“However, this review is incomplete and its conclusions are not supported by independent assessments of climate lobbying conducted by Sasol and a number of these associations.”

Just Share and Aeon want their climate lobbying resolution to be presented at Sasol’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 19 and voted on by shareholders. They further require a list of all industry associations involved in climate-related lobbying, political influence, engagements with organizations of which Sasol is a member, and fees paid to those associations.

Just Share executive director Tracey Davies said her shareholder resolution had nothing to do with the number of her shares in Sasol, as every shareholder will have the opportunity to vote on the resolution.

“Most shareholder motions around the world are tabled by groups with small stakes in companies. Big shareholders, especially in South Africa, don’t usually take on this role. But our activism gives large shareholders the opportunity to have their say on this crucial issue, ”Davies told Fin24.

The organization said Sasol is a member of several industry associations involved in climate lobbying and political engagement, and chairs the industry task force on climate change, the environmental subcommittee of Business Unity South Africa. , and is a member of the board of directors of the Minerals Council of South Africa.

They claim that organizations have “consistently and successfully lobbied against the introduction of an effective carbon tax in South Africa” ​​and that the Minerals Council also appears to be leading the Coal Mining Matters initiative which aggressively advocates for “technologies. clean coal ”, although all the evidence clearly shows that there are no solutions to neutralize all – or even most – of the disastrous environmental and climate impacts caused by mining, production, supply and elimination of coal.

Sasol confirmed the draft shareholders’ resolution, saying he will respond to the parties.

Just Share has been a thorn in the side of several large companies on climate change issues, and previously targeted Standard Bank’s policy on fossil fuel financing.

In May, she was part of a group of shareholders that filed a resolution requesting information on the bank’s short, medium and long-term objectives to reduce its exposure to fossil assets according to a timetable aligned with the objectives of the bank. the Paris Agreement. .


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