Asset managers are among signatories of a ‘Finance for Biodiversity Pledge’ launched last week while backers of a “Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures” have hailed the formation of a working group.

Signatories of the ‘Finance for Biodiversity Pledge’ commit to collaborating, engaging, assessing their own biodiversity impact, setting targets and reporting on biodiversity matters by 2024 at the latest.

Actiam, Robeco and HSBC Global Asset Management are among asset managers that have joined banks, insurers and impact funds in signing the pledge.

Victor Verberk, CIO fixed income and sustainability at Robeco, said economic consequences of biodiversity loss can be severe and represent a systemic risk for businesses and investors.

“The Biodiversity Pledge represents an important landmark for our industry,” he added.

Earlier last week Robeco announced it was excluding investments in thermal coal, oil sands and Arctic drilling from all its mutual funds. A spokesperson told IPE that Robeco divested around €104m in all funds, and that 236 companies will be added to the asset manager’s exclusion list.

Also earlier last week, a group of French asset managers announced their choice of provider to develop a biodiversity impact measurement tool.

TNFD update

Separately, efforts to create a Task-Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) are said to have passed an important milestone with the formation of a group to establish a detailed workplan for the Task Force for after its planned launch next year.

The group has more than 60 members, including 34 financial institutions such as Storebrand, BNP Paribas, Manulife Investment Management, and Pimco; representatives of five companies including BP; and French, Peruvian, Swiss and UK government officials.

It is to be supported by a technical expert group that is said to be in the final stages of formation.

“Biodiversity finance is the new frontier of green finance”

Bérangère Abba, French secretary of state in the ministry for ecological transition

The launch of the informal working group was announced by Bérangère Abba, French secretary of state in the ministry for ecological transition.

“Biodiversity finance is the new frontier of green finance,” she said. “Nature requires as much ambition and collective effort as it has been done for climate so far, and the private sector can play a crucial part in redirecting financial flows.

“We are convinced that the work of the Task-force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures will accelerate the understanding of these issues and will ultimately lead to both a reduction in financial flows and economic activities that are harmful to biodiversity and a massive redirection of flows towards activities that are favourable to biodiversity.”

Efforts towards a TNFD have received funding from the UK government through Global Canopy and support has also come from the MAVA Foundation and Bondi Foundation.

The idea of a TNFD is based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which presented its recommendations in 2017.

According to analysis by Vigeo Eiris and FourTwentySeven published last week, adoption of the recommendations by companies has been slow, but “it is evident that the TCFD framework has been successful in having a global footprint and helping to catalyse widespread awareness of climate risk reporting, with companies across all regions using it as a reference”.

Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.