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Sustainable Investing Glossary

Shareholder resolutions

A shareholder resolution is a proposal on an issue of concern that is submitted by investors at the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM). They require the company to address the issue, even if its management opposes the subject matter. Common resolutions in recent years have asked a company to clarify its exposure to climate change and whether it is aligned with the Paris Agreement on limiting global warming.

Most resolutions do not pass if the company opposes them, and they are legally non-binding if they are asking a question rather than demanding a solution. However, the level of support for a resolution can act as a ‘shot across the bows’ for a company with an ESG issue that is being questioned by its shareholders. And some do get through: a resolution in 2021 at an oil major won 61% support that forced the company to cut its carbon emissions.

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