The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative has signed more than 40 new participants, agreeing to achieve 2030 emissions reductions and net zero by 2050 or sooner.
The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative now has a total of 73 signatories representing US$32 trillion in assets under management (AUM), 36% per cent of the global total of funds under management.
The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5C.
Macquarie Asset Management is one of the new signatories.
"Last year we reconfirmed our commitment to tackling climate change by announcing we would manage our portfolio in line with global net zero emissions by 2040," said Ben Way, chief executive officer, Macquarie Asset Management. "Today, we are proud to continue this journey as we join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative to work with our industry colleagues to accelerate the transition to a low carbon future. We recognise the need for action is urgent. As a global asset manager, we have a responsibility and opportunity to invest to deliver positive and sustainable impact for everyone."
The asset manager signatories have committed to set interim targets for 2030, consistent with a fair share of the 50% global reduction in greenhouse gases identified by the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) to halt global warming at 1.5C. Supporting the acceleration of action, signatories will submit an interim target, within a year of joining the initiative, for the proportion of assets to be managed in line with reaching net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
Asset managers joining the initiative have also committed to transparent and rigorous accountability. Signatories will annually report progress against the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, including setting out a climate action plan and submitting this to The Investor Agenda via its partner organisations for review to ensure the approach applied is based on a robust methodology, consistent with the Race to Zero criteria, and action is being taken in line with the commitments.
The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is managed globally by six founding partner investor networks: Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), CDP, Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). It has also been endorsed by The Investor Agenda, of which the investor networks are all founding partners, along with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI).
"The acceleration of the asset management industry's response to climate change is critical to delivering on the aims of the Paris Agreement and protecting the global financial system from systemic physical and transitional risks," said Emma Herd, chief executive officer, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC). "The expansion of participation in the Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative sends a further signal to the Australian and New Zealand markets that global capital is swinging behind a net zero emissions and resilient future."
"The asset management industry plays an important role as an advisor, at the nexus between asset owners and corporations," said Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive officer, BlackRock. "Helping investors prepare their portfolios and capture investment opportunities on the path to net zero is one of our greatest responsibilities. BlackRock is proud to put its name behind this initiative, and I am encouraged to see the increasing momentum towards net zero across the public and private sectors."
To support the governance of the initiative, an advisory group has been appointed to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative drawn from representatives from initial signatory asset managers. Chris Newton, head of responsible investing at IFM Investors, is one of the members of the advisory group along with Wendy Cromwell, Wellington Management; Edward Mason, Generation; Catherine Ogden, LGIM; Takeo Omori, Asset Management One; Corinna Orbach, DWS. The advisory group will consider and provide recommendations to the Net Zero Asset Managers founding partners regarding the operation of the initiative and serve as champions for its work.