Daily ESG Briefing: UK Church Commissioners to cut investments’ carbon intensity by 25% by 2025

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Church Commissioners for England has pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of its investment portfolio by 25% by 2025, based on a 2019 baseline, describing the move as a “realistic goal in our mission to create real world change to transition to a net zero global economy”. The £8.7bn investor will up engagement with its highest emitting holdings and its investment managers, as well as with policymakers. The 2025 target covers its public equities and real estate portfolio, with “other asset classes to be included as methodologies and reliable data develops”, it said.

Google’s parent company Alphabet has backed the recommendations of the Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, saying: “We believe that consistent, regular, transparent reporting of climate-related matters is an important complement to the substantive actions we are taking to mitigate climate change”, and said that it believed its CDP climate change reporting was in line with TCFD recommendations.

The Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor, the Partnership for Carbon Account Financials (PCAF) and GRESB have teamed up to provide investors and lenders with guidance on measuring and reporting emissions from financed real estate. The guidance will build on PCAF’s GHG reporting standards for the financial industry, and be tailored to the real estate sector.

Capital Markets Malaysia and the Institutional Investors Council Malaysia have launched a sustainable investment platform to carry out capacity building for ESG data collection and advocate for sustainable investment practices among Malaysian institutional investors.

Liontrust is preparing to launch an investment trust for its sustainable team in June after its assets in ESG funds reached £10bn. Liontrust’s Q1 trading update showed an increase in total assets to £32.5bn in mid-April, with £10.2bn in ESG assets.

A $7tn investor coalition has welcomed President Bolsonaro’s restatement of Brazil’s commitment to eliminate illegal forestation. The Investor Policy Dialogue on Deforestation welcomed the commitment, made in a letter to US President Biden, but raised concerns about a number of policies in the past few years which have “moved Brazil further away from the goal of reducing illegal deforestation”.