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Over half of global AUM in funds committed to climate goals

‘No investor wants to miss out on the opportunities of the global decarbonisation underway’


Pete Carvill

Asset managers representing nearly half of the world’s assets under management have pledged to meet climate goals through membership of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAMI).

According to its website, 41 more asset managers came onboard this week, taking NZAMI membership to 128 investors managing $43trn in assets.

The new asset managers include Amundi, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, HSBC Asset Management, and the International Business of Federated Hermes.

NZAMI also said that there had been a ‘marked uptick’ in the number of Asian managers. The initiative itself was launched in December of last year and is managed globally by six founding partner investor networks, including Ceres and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Economic transition

In a statement, Mindy Lubber, chief executive and president of Ceres, said: “Investors understand the urgency of the climate crisis and asset managers understand their role in mitigating the crisis as well as their fiduciary duty to address systemic climate risks and capture investment opportunities emerging in the economic transition to a net zero emissions future.

“As we see with 41 additional asset managers joining such that the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative now represents nearly half of total assets in the global asset management sector, no investor wants to miss out on the opportunities of the global decarbonisation underway.”

Fiona Reynolds, chief executive of the PRI, added: “Commitment from the investment managers – alongside asset owners, banks, insurance companies and governments – to net zero is tremendously important to enable a transition to a low-carbon economy – and to ensure we have the right framework to finance that transition.

“As we approach COP26, it’s essential that actors across the investment chain alongside governments continue to take net-zero-related actions, and to be held accountable for those commitments through interim and longer-term targets.”

This week’s addition of more than 40 new companies to NZAMI follows that of 43 other firms in March. Back then, APG, BlackRock, and Cardano Group were among others to have signed up.

Funnelled into ESG

Carbon-free or climate-friendly investing has long been a staple of ESG, one of the most-popular subjects in this space. A few weeks ago, Expert investor reported that more than half of all new inflows into Europe were directed at these products, according to the European Sustainable Investment Funds Study.

Despite all the noises and large gestures towards ESG investing, the sector still has its blemishes. Accusations of ‘greenwashing’ – of false claiming investment products to be environmentally friendly – has been an increasingly important topic, so much so that the UK government recently set up an independent advisory group called the Green Technical Advisory Group on ESG investing.