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ShareAction absorbs climate disclosure body the Asset Owners Disclosure Project

Campaign group strengthens focus on climate risk

Campaign group ShareAction is to strengthen its focus on climate risk by taking over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project.

They have today (June 13) announced an agreement for ShareAction to take on the AODP, the body which ranks the climate-related financial disclosures of the world’s largest pension funds, insurers, sovereign wealth funds and endowments.

They say the two organizations share “closely aligned” goals and methods.

The move represents a significant development for ShareAction, which is known for campaigning on issues such as the living wage and the role of banks in driving the low carbon transition.

On top of that it was part of the Aiming for A initiative at fossil fuel companies, has set up the European Responsible Investment Network (ERIN) and helped to get ESG provisions into the updated European pension fund directive.

RI reported in November last year that the AODP planned to integrate with other climate and responsible investment organisations, saying its original objective had been achieved. At the time it said too that “urgent NGO consolidation” is needed in the sector.

ShareAction was founded in 2005 as Fair Pensions, which grew out of the Ethics for USS campaign that targeted the Universities Superannuation Scheme in the 1990s.

Its board of trustees is chaired by Emma Howard Boyd, the responsible investment veteran who chairs the Environment Agency.Trustees include governance expert Stephen Davis and Paul Dickinson, the co-founder and Executive Chair of CDP, the investor-backed environmental data body.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. London-based ShareAction disclosed total income of just over £1m in the year to end-January 2016. Donors include the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Friends Provident Foundation and the Jeremy Coller Foundation. UK unions Unison and Unite both contributed £1,000.

“ShareAction is hugely excited to be taking over the pioneering work of AODP at this key moment for global action on climate change,” said ShareAction Chief Executive Catherine Howarth.

“With many large investors already disclosing using the AODP framework, the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures have already, effectively, been adopted by market leaders.

“We now need the G20 members and associated institutions to drive disclosure in their own countries, and to move swiftly towards a globally consistent and mandatory disclosure platform.”

Julian Poulter, CEO of AODP, said: “We are now delighted to be consolidating our work into ShareAction at a critical juncture for climate disclosure.

“The responsible investment movement has already shifted billions of dollars away from high carbon investments and changed investors’ and regulators’ perspective on climate change from the ideological or partisan to one of risk management and long-term benefit calculations.”