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Corporate programme

Climate Action 100+ flagged resolutions: Volkswagen AG (VOW3): Annual General Meeting – Thursday 12 May 2022

14.04.22

Volkswagen AG — Church of England Pensions Board to vote AGAINST two management proposals on the grounds of a lack of governance oversight on net zero aligned lobbying disclosure: The approval of the Board of Management and Supervisory Board’s actions in 2021 (AGM agenda items #3 and #4).

Supporting investors: AP7, AkademikerPension, AP3, AP4, Schroders, EOS at Federated Hermes.

Summary of why the resolution is being flagged

  • Volkswagen AG (VW) has rejected a shareholder proposal from seven European investors that urged the company to explain how its lobbying activities help to address climate risks. The shareholders’ proposal came after more than three years of dialogue on this issue with VW. The continued rejection of this investor request is in contrast to many of its German peers including Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which have both made recent public commitments to include a review of climate lobbying policies and positions as part of their annual disclosures.
  • VW has been assessed positively on only 1 of the 6 sub-indicators under section 7 of the Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Benchmark 2022, ‘Climate policy engagement’. The one that it does address (7.2b) relates only to disclosure of its trade association memberships.
  • This is the second shareholder proposal on climate lobbying that has been put to VW, with the first being rejected in 2019. The company rejected this latest shareholder proposal on the basis that they deem it beyond the competence of the general meeting: ‘The Board of Management alone is responsible for deciding on the content of the non-financial report in accordance with the interests of the company.’

See investor statements from Church of England Pensions Board here and here.

Download the full memo below.

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