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TitelActive ownership on environmental and social issues: What works? A summary of the recent academic literature

The report also outlines an agenda for future research. While many studies identify success factors for shareholder influence, the question of real economic effects remains largely unanswered. What concrete changes in corporate practice result from interaction with shareholders? Especially with regard to climate change, it would be valuable to investigate whether restricting debt financing to the fossil industry could be an efficient way to reduce production levels and thus curb greenhouse gas emissions, and how this compares to selling shares in this respect. It would also be important to gain a deeper understanding of the process by which shareholders can influence standards of corporate behaviour. In addition, a more fine-grained analysis of engagement is needed, with separate analysis of different types of engagement, such as event-driven or proactive engagement. In this context, there is a need for studies that examine how the different strategies might interact or perhaps even work against each other. We also note that much of the data used is from the United States and that studies from other geographical perspectives are also justified, especially given the global scope of active ownership of social and environmental issues.


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