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Daily ESG Briefing: IFM Investors commits to Net Zero by 2050

The latest developments in sustainable finance

A$159 bn investment house IFM Investors has set a Net Zero by 2050 target across all its asset classes. The asset manager, which is based in Australia and owned by 27 pension funds, has established a taskforce to aid the commitment and says it will reduce emissions, develop net zero policies for new and existing unlisted assets, enhance investment and governance frameworks to better consider climate, and invest in green assets.

A new climate initiative, the Global Returns Project, hopes to generate $10bn (€8.5bn) annually to tackle the climate crisis within the next decade, by asking individuals to commit 0.25% of their savings and investments to fund not-for-profit climate solutions. The project is run by the Climate Crisis Foundation, set up by Yan Swiderski – who founded investment management firm Finisterre Capital – and Jasper Judd – currently non-executive director of JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust and Dunedin Income Growth Investment Trust. Contributions will be donated across chosen partner charities including Ashden, ClientEarth, Global Canopy, Rainforest Trust and Trillion Trees. 

The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has urged the UK government to replace the EU Emissions Trading System with a parallel version after Brexit, rather than opting for a carbon tax. The call comes as reports last week indicated the government may opt for a tax. Adam Berman, IETA’s EU Policy Director, explained: “A carbon tax fails to guarantee the climate goal, makes life harder for industry at a time of economic crisis, and diminishes UK climate leadership when it is needed the most. Berman will be appearing before the Business, Energy and Industrial Select Committee on Thursday to promote the case for choosing an ETS over a tax.

Higher climate risk vulnerability leads to significant rises in the cost of sovereign borrowing, according to a joint study from the Asian Development Bank Institute, Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London, the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore and Four Twenty Seven. Using a sample of 40 developed and emerging economies, the Climate Change and Sovereign Risk suggests Southeast Asia will be particularly affected by the trend, and outlines policy recommendations.

MackeyRMS has developed ESG Scorecards to streamline investment selection, monitoring, and reporting for ESG-focused portfolios. The software firm’s new product will enable users to integrate ESG ratings and data from various providers including MSCI, Sustainalytics and Truvalue Labs, into their research management platforms.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has withdrawn a shareholder resolution to BHP calling for a moratorium on the desecration of cultural heritage sites, because the company agreed to engage with the First Nations Heritage Protection Alliance. Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director at ACCR said: “At the eleventh hour, the BHP Chairman finally came to the table with the Alliance and directly involved himself in negotiations with Aboriginal leadership. This move was most welcome. The measures the First Nations Alliance have secured with BHP could not have happened without the interest of the investment sector and the communication of their expectations about companies’ cultural heritage management.”