Daily ESG Briefing: Major investors commit to 25-30% portfolio emissions reductions by 2025

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) has announced that 29 of its investor signatories have published interim emissions reductions targets for 2025. The investors, including Allianz, CDPQ and Swiss Re, have committed to reduce portfolio emissions by 25-30% by 2025, the NZAOA said today in its first progress report. Members that have not yet set their first intermediary target will do so in 2022, the report said. The UN-convened alliance, which has 56 members in total all pledging to transition their investment portfolios to Net Zero emissions by 2050 and establish intermediate targets every five years, said it is on track to reach $10bn of assets under management by COP26. 

The London Stock Exchange has introduced new climate reporting guidance for issuers. It today launched a Climate Transition Offering, making it the first exchange to publish climate reporting guidance based on the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Model Guidance on Climate Disclosure, which is in line with the TCFD recommendations. The LSE’s guidance is tailored to the UK regulatory and policy environment and will support companies to integrate climate risks and opportunities into operational decision making and help in reporting carbon performance. 

In addition, the Exchange has introduced Climate Governance Scores for over 400 issuers as a “private educational resource to help them understand the key climate metrics that investors are focused on and identify areas of improvement and assess their performance against industry peers.” The scores are based on the Transition Pathway Initiative’s Management Quality Score (MQS) methodology.

Insurance company Axis has today announced its commitment to phase out coal from its insurance and investment portfolios by no later than 2030 in OECD countries and 2040 globally. The New York Stock Exchange-listed insurer also said it will invest $20m in BlackRock’s Climate Finance Partnership, a fund focused on climate-related infrastructure investments in emerging markets. “We welcome AXIS Capital's new commitments on coal as a major win for the climate,” said Elana Sulakshana, Senior Energy Finance Campaigner at NGO Rainforest Action Network. “By ruling out coal developers and setting out 1.5ºC-aligned dates for phaseout of the sector entirely, AXIS Capital has raised the bar for insurers in the US and globally.”

Private and public investors must collaborate with coastal communities and support locally led investable products and projects to help accelerate a sustainable ocean economy, according to a trio of reports from the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University. Commissioned by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, the research also found that a truly sustainable and equitable ocean economy is “at a tipping point with the potential for significant acceleration and growth – but only if the right frameworks are wrapped around it.” 

Pulp and paper giant Stora Enso has committed to achieve at net-positive impact on biodiversity in its own forests and plantations by 2050. This will be done through “active biodiversity management”, it said.