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Fidelity may join shareholders' push for corporate climate risk disclosures

As climate activists gain more influence at large U.S.-based corporations, Fidelity Investments may support shareholder proxy proposals calling on businesses to disclose sustainability matters, Reuters reported May 27.

A new section of guidelines, which were put in place in January for this spring's annual meeting, states that "Fidelity may support shareholder proposals calling for reports on sustainability, renewable energy and environmental impact issues."

The fund manager's new policy emerges as client interest grows in how companies approach environmental, social and governance issues, Fidelity spokeswoman Nicole Goodnow told Reuters.

The company, which manages $2.1 trillion in assets, had opposed or abstained on every one of 30 shareholder proposals related to climate questions at U.S. companies in the last two proxy seasons.

Recently, major funds including BlackRock Inc. and State Street Corp. have also shown support for calls for the disclosure of risks posed to businesses by climate change.

Fidelity Institutional Asset Management provides products and services to investment professionals, plan sponsors and institutional investors through Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. Inc., Fidelity Institutional Asset Management Trust Co. or FIAM LLC.