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Investors welcome climate lobbying review from National Grid following engagement

Investors welcome climate lobbying review from National Grid following engagement

Peter Taylor

Corporate Programme Director

A brilliant outcome that shows the positive power of shareholder engagement through Climate Action 100+, as National Grid commits to conduct a climate lobbying review following engagement from the Church of England Pensions Board and AP7 on this critical issue.

The Church of England Pensions Board and AP7 began engagement with the company on corporate climate lobbying earlier this year, due to the company’s lack of disclosure.

As a lead engager with the company as part of Climate Action 100+, on 19 June Church of England Pensions Board publicly pre-declared its intention to vote against the Chair and CEO of National Grid over the company’s lack of climate lobbying disclosure. This was subsequently flagged by Climate Action 100+, as part of its policy to flag shareholder proposals and other votes aligned with the goals of the initiative for investors to take into consideration during proxy season.

National Grid has since released an updated lobbying policy with a commitment to conduct a lobbying review. This has been welcomed by the Church of England Pensions Board and AP7, which have now signalled their intention to vote in favour of management at the AGM.

Peter Taylor, Corporate Programme Director at IIGCC, commented: “The decision by National Grid to commit to publishing a comprehensive review of their lobbying activities on climate change is a clear reminder of the value of corporate engagement and evidence that it can and does deliver tangible results. Not all corporate engagements that result in positive progress can or are communicated publicly, particularly where companies make concessions before a vote at an AGM, so it is important to highlight the successes where possible. Ultimately, it is encouraging to see the ongoing dialogue between the Church of England Pensions Board and National Grid, along with AP7, bearing fruit.”

Laura Hillis, Director of Climate and Environment for the Church of England Pensions Board, said: “Following our announcement of our intention to vote against the chair and CEO over the lack of disclosure of their lobbying activities, we are pleased that National Grid has now made this commitment. We have been encouraged by our ongoing dialogue with the company, and we welcome their commitment to greater transparency on the critical issue of corporate climate lobbying, which has historically been a barrier to achieving good policy outcomes on climate change.”

Emma Henningsson, Manager Active Ownership at AP7, commented: “We welcome National Grid’s commitment to undertake regular lobbying reviews and we have revised our previous voting intentions as a result of the decision. AP7 will vote in support of both the Chair and CEO on 10th July. Corporate lobbying, directly and via trade associations, has historically been a powerful obstruction to legislative reform for an orderly low-carbon transition. That’s why companies need to have strong governance of their climate-related lobbying and to identify and act on any misalignment between their own goals and trade association lobbying.”


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Media contact

Ross Gillam, Head of Media Relations, IIGCC


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