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WE, BASF commit to review climate lobbying after investor pressure

Source: 
EFE Ingles

By Maitane Sardon

Madrid, May 3 (EFE).- RWE AG and BASF SE on Friday became the latest European companies to respond to investor pressure regarding climate change, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires supplied to Efe.

German electric utility RWE and chemical maker BASF said at their respective annual general meetings that they will commit to undertake a review of their lobbying activities and policy engagement to make sure they are in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The commitments made by the companies are the result of investor engagement led by German money manager Union Investment, which is part of Climate Action 100+, a group of 320 investors representing $33 trillion in assets under management.

"The leadership these companies are showing raises the bar for transparent and accountable lobbying practices. As businesses act on the issue in growing numbers across Europe, there is a clear opportunity for lobbying practices to strengthen, rather than undermine, vital action on climate change," Stephanie Pfeifer, a member of the Climate Action 100+ global steering committee and CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said.

The agreements with RWE and BASF are part of a broader investor engagement exercise with 55 high-emitting companies focusing specifically on lobbying practices.

The exercise was initiated by the Church of England pensions board and the Swedish pension fund AP7, the Dow Jones report added.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Glencore PLC, Heidelberg Cement AG and Equinor ASA have so far agreed to review their lobbying activities on climate change in response to engagement by Climate Action 100+ through the IIGCC.

Shell recently said it will leave the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers US trade body as a consequence of such pressure.

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