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July 8, 2010    

Shareholder eco-activism takes root in Australia

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by David Masters
Shareholder eco-activism takes root in Australia

Australian Ethical Investments has announced plans to invest in ethically dubious energy firms with the aim of changing their business practices through shareholder activism.

The Climate Advocacy Fund (CAF), launched today, will invest in big polluters with the aim of using shareholder influence to encourage firms to green themselves up.

Companies will urged to rethink how they manage climate change risk and reduce their pollution.

“We usually avoid companies that we believe are not doing the right thing,” said James Thier, AEI executive director.

“These are often major companies, but [excluding them means] you are just putting your head in the sand.

“This is a very different approach, we can drive improvement in the bigger companies, and other companies will follow.”

AEI is seeking around A$100 million of investments for the new fund.

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Tags: , Climate Advocay Fund, , , shareholder activism