Church of England’s Transition Pathway Initiative to launch in January 2017

Initiative was proposed as part of the CoE’s climate change and investment policy

The Transition Pathway Initiative, a data analysis tool project spearheaded by the Church of England (CoE) and the UK Environment Agency Pension Fund, will be launched in January next year, RI understands.

The initiative was proposed as part of the CoE’s climate change and investment policy at the July 2015 Synod, where it agreed the development of an “engagement framework” for the following year.

The Transition Pathway Initiative is the response that commitment, which builds on the CoE’s recent climate change-related shareholder activism at the AGMs of BP, Shell, Anglo American, Glencore and Rio Tinto; and most notably at ExxonMobil in a joint resolution with the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

A group of 15 undisclosed international asset owners, as well as an undisclosed data provider, are partnering with Lord Stern’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment (part of the London School of Economics) to set up the initiative.

The Transition Pathway Initiative aims to provide investors with accurate information to judge whether or not companies are capable of managing a low-carbon future.

A spokesperson for the CoE would not reveal the names of the participants, but said the website, technical aspects and algorithms of the initiative are currently being tested ahead of a mid-January launch in 2017.The spokesperson added that the online tool, to be hosted by the LSE’s Grantham Institute, includes a voting template and indicators to assess risks and opportunities relating to companies’ climate change transition.

Initially, the tool will focus on high impact sectors such as “mining, oil and gas, automotive and electricity sectors, before rolling out to other sectors”.

The Transition Pathway Initiative was discussed on November 17 at the latest summit of Prince Charles’s charity Accounting for Sustainability (A4S). A spokesperson for A4S told RI that the initiative wasn’t part of the official agenda, although the use of its data tool featured at privately-held CFO and Investor roundtables at St. James’s Palace.

A4S’s own event report stated: “The tool underpins an approach being adopted by asset owners with over £400 billion assets under management to assess climate-related risk in their portfolio.”

The launch on January 11 would allow the Synod to be briefed at the next meeting on February 13.

Link to RI article by the members of the Transition Pathway Initiative.