>> Fidelity Investments, doing an about face when it comes to forcing companies to come clean on climate change, and how that's affecting their businesses. I'm Conway Gittens in New York. Reuters reporting exclusively Friday, on how Fidelity's planning to use the clout of its $2 trillion in assets under management, to back shareholder proposals that would encourage companies to be more forth coming when it comes to how renewable energy, sustainability, and other environmental issues could reflect on their bottom lines.
The major shift in thinking at the fourth largest US fund manager will likely boost the odds, climate activists will gain more say so at big corporations. Fidelity's new guidelines, quietly put in place back in January, in preparation for this spring's barrage of corporate annual meetings. In the past, Fidelity has not supported efforts to force companies to disclose more when it comes to climate matters.
But times are changing. A Fidelity spokeswoman telling Reuters, the adjustment in policy comes as more stakeholders want to know about the potential risks environmental issues could have on their investments. Fidelity is not alone. Others, including Black Rock and State Street, have also warmed up to the idea, the added firepower already yielding results.
Shareholders at Occidental Petroleum and utility holding company, PPL, both approving greater disclosure rules. But the big test is yet to come at the Exxon Mobil shareholder meeting at the end of the month.