Asset managers form $9trn alliance to reach Net Zero by 2050

Major managers will work with asset owners, as well as setting targets and committing to TCFD disclosure

DWS, Fidelity International, Schroders, UBS Asset Management, Wellington Management and AXA Investment Managers are among 30 founding members, representing more than $9trn, of a Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.

Coordinated by the Principles for Responsible Investment, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, the Investor Group on Climate Change, CDP and Ceres, the group requires members to work with their asset owner clients to steer investments towards Net Zero by 2050 or earlier. 

Members must set decarbonisation goals, including interim 2030 targets, which they must review at least every five years. Those targets should be aligned with the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on global warming of 1.5°C. All assets under management must be covered by such targets, and they should integrate Scope 3 (indirect) emissions where reasonable. 

Members must also 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 or sooner. They must create investment products to enable the transition, report in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures and disclose climate action plans for review.

Other members include Legal & General, Wheb, the CCLA, IFM, Nordea Asset Management, Sarasin, Swedbank, Robeco, Kempen, M&G, Handelsbanken Fonder, Calvert and Arisaig. For a full list, see here

“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 $9trn 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,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of IIGCC. “This is action – not simply words.” 

The efforts mirror those of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which was launched last year with support from the UN. That group has 33 members, including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, with more than $5trn in assets.

But David Blood, Senior Partner at Generation Investment Management, said that “without the asset management industry on board, the goals set out in the Paris Agreement will be difficult to meet.” 

“The asset management industry needs to show leadership, and that's what this initiative is about,” he added.