David Lynn spoke to POLITICO about companies seeing an influx of climate-related shareholder proposals after the Securities and Exchange Commission made the decision to broaden the types of issues it allows shareholders to raise at annual meetings.

"The current proxy advisory firm views on a lot of these proposals are not that far out of the norm from what the institutional investors are doing," David said. "A lot of these institutional investors are very focused on these issues and don't want to be perceived as being out of step with the others."

He added that it's "undeniable" that the SEC's new guidance had an impact.

"A lot of issues around sustainability, climate change, human capital management — those are issues that it's very difficult for the staff at SEC to somehow say that's not a significant social policy issue right now. And they're not inclined to say that."

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