Investors in the Electric Power Development Co. Ltd (J-POWER) have once again signalled a lack of confidence in the company’s current decarbonisation strategy, with significant numbers voting in support of a climate-focused shareholder resolution at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Tokyo today.
21% of shareholders voted in favour of a shareholder resolution calling on J-POWER to set and disclose credible short and medium-term emissions reduction targets aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This is the second consecutive year J-POWER’s investors have voted in significant numbers (2022 AGM 26% support) for a shareholder resolution calling on the company to set a clear decarbonisation strategy with Paris-aligned, credible, short and medium-term targets.
The resolution was filed by Amundi, the largest European asset manager, HSBC Asset Management, and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, and was supported by Man Group, the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund company,
15% of shareholders also voted in support of a resolution calling on J-POWER to disclose how remuneration policies incentivise progress against emissions reduction targets.
Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director, ACCR, said:
“These results are a clear and consistent signal from over a fifth of J-POWER shareholders that they expect the company to set a more credible decarbonisation strategy. We expect this motivated and active investor cohort to keep pushing J-POWER’s board hard.
“Given the considerable level of support for the proposal for its second year, the company should take action to demonstrate that it has heard the concerns of its shareholders. Our co-engagement with the company over the last 12 months did not give us comfort that our concerns had been taken seriously.
“J-POWER’S current climate strategy is not credible for a company expecting to create value for its shareholders in a rapidly decarbonising global economy. The company’s reliance on speculative technologies like carbon capture utilisation and storage and ammonia co-firing in order to prolong the life of coal power is implausible and comes with a high cost.
“Our ultimate diagnosis of the problem at J-POWER is company leadership. J-POWER’s failure to set out a credible plan to keep pace with the energy transition is largely because those in charge of that plan are not adequately interested in evolving the company’s approach. We expect investor focus on the competence of J-POWER’s board to increase. We await the release of voting results on director elections, which have not yet been disclosed.”
See here for text of the resolutions and here for ACCR’s Investor brief on J-POWER.