Fund managers representing $23trn in assets join net zero initiative

Fund houses commit to cut emissions by 2050

Pedro Gonçalves
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Fund managers representing $23trn in assets join net zero initiative

This brings the total number of fund houses making new, enhanced commitments to support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner to 73, representing $32trn AUM, more than a third (36%) of global assets under management.

The new cohort, which includes Aberdeen Standard Investments, Allianz Global Investors, Jupiter Asset Management and Royal London Asset Management, committed to working with clients to cut emissions across their investments.

Larry Fink, BlackRock chair and CEO, said: "The asset management industry plays an important role as an advisor, at the nexus between asset owners and corporations. Helping investors prepare their portfolios and capture investment opportunities on the path to net zero is one of our greatest responsibilities.

Helping investors prepare their portfolios and capture investment opportunities on the path to net zero is one of our greatest responsibilities."

"BlackRock is proud to put its name behind this initiative, and I am encouraged to see the increasing momentum towards net zero across the public and private sectors."  

Fink had already mentioned BlackRock's intention of pushing investee companies to adopt 2050 net zero emissions goal in its latest annual letter.

To ensure real world progress ahead of 2050, the asset manager signatories have committed to set interim targets for 2030, consistent with a fair share of the 50%  global reduction in greenhouse gases identified by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) to halt global warming at 1.5°C.

Supporting the acceleration of action, signatories will submit an interim target, within a year of joining the initiative, for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.  

Vanguard chair and CEO Tim Buckley said: "Climate change represents a long-term, material risk to our investors' portfolios. As a steward of our clients' assets, we recognize the crucial role we and others play in driving real progress on climate risk over time.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to tackle this important matter, we will continue to engage with portfolio companies, industry regulators, and policymakers, and today we add our commitment to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

"We look forward to helping drive collaborative and constructive dialogue across our industry to establish win-win solutions for long-term shareholder return and the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050." 

Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer, Aviva Investors, added: "The climate crisis, and reaching net zero, is without doubt the biggest challenge facing humanity. Only by harnessing the power of capital markets do we stand a chance of delivering what the scientists tell us we must do to stabilise the climate. Aviva Investors will play our full role and warmly welcome the creation of the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative." 

Andrew Formica, CEO, Jupiter Asset Management, said: "The transition to net zero carbon emissions is imperative, and we have a responsibility to work together as an industry and a society to tackle climate change.

"Following the announcement of Jupiter's commitment to net zero at both a company and investment level, we are pleased to be a part of this important initiative working on behalf of our clients and alongside so many others asset managers to drive real progress towards these transformational goals." 

An advisory group has also been appointed to Net Zero Asset Managers, drawing members from Wellington Management, Generatoin, IFM Investors, LGIM, Asset Management One and DWS.

First published by our sister title Investment Week