Brunel Pension Partnership and major asset managers have challenged the European Commission over its proposed reforms of the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP), which they consider risk undermining the EU’s own net-zero emissions commitment.

The investors joined policy experts and business groups in calling on the EU to implement a set of recommendations, such as shifting away from incentives that prioritise yields at the expense of the climate and the environment “and balance this with new monetary incentives that put a value on sustainable agriculture”.

The recommendations are set out in a report authored by Legal & General Investment Management and experts at Chatham House. It is backed by investors and organisations including Aldersgate Group, Aviva Investors, Brunel, BMO Global Asset Management and Robeco.

Another proposal is to reduce direct support for high-emitting commodities such as red meat.

Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel, said: “For the EU to meet its own climate targets and move in line with the Paris Agreement targets, it urgently needs to reform the CAP, agreeing stronger enforcement measures, removing misaligned incentives and ending support for high-emission commodities.

“I support the recommendations of this letter to bring meaningful reform to the CAP based on our shared climate goals.”

The paper was published ahead of a meeting of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers yesterday.

SEC clears path for ConocoPhilipps Follow This climate proposal

The Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected a request from oil and gas major ConocoPhilipps to ignore a shareholder resolution from Dutch campaign group Follow This.

The resolution asks the company to set emission reduction targets covering Scopes 1-3, and will now have to be tabled for a vote at the annual general meeting this year.

In a letter to ConocoPhillips, the US regulator said it did not consider the proposal sought to “micromanage the company to such a degree that exclusion of the proposal would be appropriate”.

It also said it disagreed with the company’s view that its policies and practices “compare favourably with the guidelines of the proposal”.

Mark van Baal, of Follow This, said the SEC’s decision was “a breakthrough in the fight against climate change”, ensuring that for the first time, a climate resolution from the group would come to a vote in the US.

“Finally, shareholders can vote about the elephant in the room: product emissions,” he said. “All our experience in Europe has shown that only shareholders’ votes for concrete emissions targets will lead oil majors to change course.”

Insurer AXA plans to drop energy company RWE

AXA is set to drop German energy company RWE as a client, Bloomberg reported. The French insurance company will reduce services delivered to RWE by the end of next year on concerns relating to the impact of RWE’s business on climate.

A call from Rolf Martin Schmitz, chief executive officer of RWE, to keep the company on board at AXA has failed as thr insurer also plans to waive insuring RWE’s renewable projects.

AXA has introduced a new policy that will lead to cutting down its exposure to the thermal coal industry to xero by 2030 in the European Union and OECD countries, and by 2040 in the rest of the world.

AXA’s policy limits investments in electric utilities with an energy mix based on coal of more than 30%, or coal power expansion plans of over 300MW. The insurer had already decided to exclude investments in mining companies with over 30% of revenues generated by coal, and that extract over 20MT of coal per year.

Furthermore, it has banned power generation companies with more than 10GW of installed coal-based power production.

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