‘Woke up’ businesses have more bark than chews: Australian Senator


Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has called on political leaders to stand up to investment firms using their influence to pressure companies to pursue “awake” purposes.

“The problem with how corporations make political decisions is that they are concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy people. The beauty of democracy is that everyone has a vote, regardless of wealth.” he told the Epoch Times.

“Companies are created by law and use shareholder money to pursue political ends and pressure other law-abiding Australians to follow larger companies and political views. should be illegal.”

Publicly traded US companies are under pressure to embrace “virtue signals” that are responsible for environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors such as climate change and gender equality policies.

Notably, major investment firms BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street (which hold the largest publicly traded companies in the developed world) have used this influence to include increasing gender allocation of managers to their boards. to adopt the policy of

In Australia, proxy advisors such as the Australian Retirement Pension Investors Council, which claims to represent the interests of 37 pension funds, have played a similar role on climate change.

If a large pension fund or investment fund decides to withdraw money from a large company, it can have a significant impact on the company’s share price and affect other investors.

Confront Awakened Interests

The overall situation forced the US Attorneys General in 19 conservative-led states to issue a “Please Explain” to BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, about its activities. I was. Obligations to Shareholders.

Canavan said these examples have forced companies like BlackRock to back down and stop pursuing an “anti-fossil fuel agenda” in those jurisdictions.

“Australia is a relatively small country, but I believe it can have a significant impact on international financial institutions. If we do not sign the net zero goal, we should not take for granted the threats we see. We will be kicked out of the capital markets,” he said.

Business leaders have warned that Australian businesses like banks could be cut off from global financial markets if they do not support stronger climate action.

But Canavan said the country should not “sell out its sovereignty.”

“Even if it was a price. These companies tend to be more sarcastic and chewy, so I don’t think we pay that price.”

Daniel Y. Teng


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. His focus is on national politics such as federal politics, the COVID-19 response and Australia-China relations. Any tips? Please contact [email protected].