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December 14, 2020

Asset managers representing over $9trn join forces for net zero emissions goal

By Amala Johney

Thirty asset managers, collectively overseeing $9trn in assets, have joined forces with the aim of accomplishing net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or before.

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative will be managed globally by six founding partner investor networks including Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

AXA Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management, Fidelity International, Legal & General Investment Management, Schroders, UBS Asset Management, M&G, Wellington Management and DWS are the major names in the 30-member coalition.

Net Zero Asset Managers initiative commitments

This initiative, which is in line with international efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C, aims to support investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 or before.

As part of the initiative, the asset managers have committed to collaborate with their clients on decarbonisation goals across all assets under management.

Additionally, they have set an interim target for the proportion of assets to be managed in accordance with the accomplishment of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

They have also pledged to review their interim target at least every five years, with the aim of increasing the proportion of AUM covered until 100% of assets are included.

Amongst other things, the companies have committed to create investment products aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 and ramp up their investment in climate solutions.

Comments:

Speaking on the development, Generation Investment Management senior partner David Blood said: “The transition to net zero will be the biggest transformation in economic history and we want to send a clear signal that there is simply no more time to waste. The opportunities to allocate capital to this transition over the coming years cannot be underestimated. Without the asset management industry on board, the goals set out in the Paris Agreement will be difficult to meet.”

Fidelity International CEO Anne Richards said: “Following our commitment earlier this year to reduce our operational carbon emissions to net zero by 2040 and the publication of our first TCFD report this week, we are pleased to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, working together with our peers to support and accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions.”

DWS CEO Asoka Woehrmann said: “These times call for leaders. The asset management industry plays a fundamental role in leading the way towards a net zero carbon economy and society. While DWS was an early mover in responsible investments, now is the time to take another bold step. We are committed to transparency and targets to progress the era of sustainability.”

AXA Investment Managers executive chairman Marco Morelli said: “Being among the first asset managers to commit to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across all our assets under management is another major milestone of our responsible investment approach, and complements the commitment made by the AXA Group one year ago.”

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