Investors push for zero

Investor group Climate Action 100+ has published Breakthrough, a progress report showing that despite the significant progress that has been achieved, more needs to be done by the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas(GHG) emitters in tackling climate change.

Climate Action 100+ brings together more than 370 global investors with over $35tr in assets under management, and under its engagement programmes, a range of breakthrough net zero emission commitments are now in place. Significant progress has been seen across a range of industries, many of which are among the most challenging to decarbonise. Examples of focus companies making substantial net zero commitments over just the past seven months alone include; Heidelberg Cement, Duke Energy, Nestlé, Daimler, VW, Thyssenkrupp, ArcelorMittal, BHP Billiton, Centrica and Saint-Gobain.

We are now at a tipping point. A significant number of companies have made bold commitments to achieve net zero emissions, with others increasingly following suit,” explained Stephanie Maier, director of responsible investment, HSBC Global Asset Management and steering committee member, Climate Action 100+. “Given the urgency of the situation, the role of investor engagement is critical in ensuring we build on this momentum.”

Analysis in the report demonstrates across the 161 focus companies 70 per cent have set long-term emissions reduction targets and 9 per cent have emissions targets that are in line with (or go beyond) the minimum goal of the Paris Agreement.

The report also contextualises the contribution investor engagement has made to the progress achieved to date. These include securing four Climate Action 100+ investor led agreements with global companies Shell, Glencore, BP and Equinor. Furthermore, 11 commitments have been secured to date from companies in line with investor expectations, to review and act on the alignment of lobbying activity, inclusive of trade bodies.

The initiative has also achieved significant progress in ‘mainstreaming’ shareholder engagement by investors globally, with over 65 per cent growth in investor participation in the initiative since launch, with an additional $9tr in assets under management added in the process. Also, Climate 100+has helped set new records for investor support of climate change shareholder resolutions, including the largest ever co-filing backing secured for a climate change shareholder resolution (from investors owning equivalent to 10 percent of BP in the form of a $12bn stake in the company). Over 99 per cent of shareholders then voted in support of the resolution.

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