Asset managers representing £6.8trn commit to net zero by 2050

Some of the world's largest asset managers, representing $9trn (£6.8trn) in assets under management, have committed to the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Thirty firms signed up to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, including Legal & General Investment Management, Fidelity International, Schroders, UBS Asset Management, Wellington Management, AXA Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management, DWS, M&G and Asset Management One.

These companies, along with other signatories, have committed to work to ensure their investment portfolios are aligned with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in line with efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5 C.

They will work with asset owner clients on decarbonisation goals, set an interim target for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with net zero and review their target at least every five years until 100 per cent of assets are included.

The launch of Net Zero Asset Managers comes ahead of the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement and the Climate Ambition Summit 2020 event on 12th December, co-hosted by United Nations, UK and French governments.

Other asset managers have been urged to join the initiative, to “demonstrate sector leadership and commitment to a sustainable future”.

Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change CEO and founding partner of the initiative, Stephanie Pfeifer, commented: “We talk a lot of tipping points in our sector, but 30 of the world’s leading asset managers with assets under management of over $9 trillion committing to the goal of net zero by 2050 really can help tip the balance in favour of the global economic transition to net zero. This is action – not simply words.”

“The scale and significance of the asset managers joining the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative sends a clear signal to the wider sector that the financial firepower of institutional investors will be committed to making real progress towards a net zero and resilient future.

“As we reach the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, we extend an open invitation to all asset managers to join us in the commitment, collaboration and cohesion that will drive forward this initiative and the net zero transition.”

Further commitments made under the initiative included setting interim targets for 2030 for assets to be managed in line with the net zero goal, consistent with a fair share of the 50 per cent global reduction in CO2.

They also agreed to take account of portfolio scope one and two emissions and, to the extent possible, material portfolio scope three emissions; implement a stewardship and engagement strategy, with a clear escalation and voting policy that is consistent with the ambition for all assets under management to achieve net zero emissions by 2050; and create investment products aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 and facilitating increased investment in climate solutions.

Signatories will also submit disclosures in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures recommendations and climate action plans.

The other signatories were: A.s.r. Asset Management, Anaxis Asset Management, Arisaig Partners, ATLAS Infrastructure Partners, Calvert Research and Management, CCLA Investment Management, Clean Energy Ventures, FAMA Investimentos, Generation Investment Management LLP, Gulf International Bank Asset Management, Handelsbanken Fonder AB, IFM Investors, Inherent Group LP, Kempen Capital Management, New Forests Pty Ltc, Robeco, Sarasin & Partners LLP, Swedbank Robur, and WHEB.

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