Major Asset Owners Pledge Significantly Reducing Carbon Emissions | Environment

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Thirty of the world’s largest asset owners, with portfolios worth a total of $ 5 billion (£ 3.8 billion), have pledged to reduce carbon emissions from the companies they invest in up to 29% over the next four years.Members of the UN-backed Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance – which includes Aviva, the Church of England and the US $ 400 billion CalPERS fund – will each set decarbonization targets for 2025 as part of the ” broader efforts to align their portfolios with the Paris climate targets and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Members will reduce emissions from companies in their portfolio by 16% to 29% from 2019 levels. They will also identify the top 20 emitters responsible for the bulk of their portfolio emissions and set emission reduction targets in their portfolio. key sectors such as oil and gas, utilities, transportation and steel.

However, the depth of the cuts will depend in part on the progress asset owners have already made towards meeting the Paris targets, the alliance said.

The group – which also includes the BT pension plan, the David Rockefeller Fund and Axa – hopes to avoid disengaging from polluting companies, but instead encourage companies to cut emissions and help limit global temperature increases to 1, 5 ° C. Part of this work will be done by pushing companies to provide mandatory climate reports and produce clear business transition plans.

Asset owners will set their individual goals in the first quarter of 2021.

“Alliance members are sending a very strong signal to the thousands of businesses they own that deep emission reductions are needed,” the group said in a statement.

The alliance plans to publish an interim progress report each year and aims to increase its membership to 200 or increase collective assets under management to $ 25 billion over the next few years.

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Alliance chairman Günther Thallinger, member of the board of directors of financial services company Allianz, said: “Alliance members [will] Change on their own first, then reach out to various companies to work on changing their business.

“Achieving net zero is not just about reducing emissions and continuing today’s business models. There are profound changes and opportunities that will come from the net zero economy. We see new business opportunities and strong wins for those who are ready to lead. ”

The title and text of this article was changed on October 13, 2020 to clarify that members of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance are asset owners rather than asset managers as originally stated.

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