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Previously, we’ve written about anti-ESG’s attempts to threaten Climate Action 100+ with regulatory enforcement, alleging that climate pacts violate U.S. antitrust law. However, recent analysis from Morningstar pokes more holes in the already dubious antitrust theory. If CA 100+ were the cartel-like organization that anti-ESG claims it is, we would expect to see signatories taking uniform action. However as the report states:

  • “Proxy-voting records for the 20 flagged resolutions in 2023 suggest a wide range of voting approaches among CA100+ signatories, not collusion.
  • The 50 CA100+ signatories we reviewed supported an average 76% of the resolutions. Support by 10 non-signatories averaged 27%.
  • The 35 asset manager signatories supported an average 74% of the resolutions, ranging from 10% to 100%. Average support by five non-signatory asset managers in the US stood much lower, at 11%.”

While signatories supported resolutions at a higher level than non-signatories, this is to be expected. Asset managers sign onto CA 100+ because they view climate as a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. However, the broad range of approaches taken by the signatories and the variance in support across resolutions indicate that asset managers still make their own calls on the specifics. CA 100+ advises its members and flags certain proposals it believes should be supported, but signatories are free to disagree and take an independent course of action. Judging from Morningstar’s data, that is exactly what is happening. Even so, somehow I don’t think we’ve heard the last from the antitrust crowd.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile