Sustainable Investing: Blame your index fund for why companies don’t do more to fight climate change

It’s proxy voting season again, when companies hold their annual shareholder meetings and let their investors vote on resolutions on everything from board candidates to diversity to parental leave.

This year, investors are gearing up to vote on 303 resolutions that touch on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. But if 2018 was any indication — environmental and social resolutions garnered just over 25% of votes cast — many of these initiatives are still doomed to fail, and your index fund may shoulder a fair amount of the blame.

For investors frustrated with the pace of corporate climate-change action, it may seem like divesting from fossil fuels is the best response.

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