Investors moved forward with plans to create a ‘Climate Action 100+’ for biodiversity over the weekend, launching a new initiative at COP15 in Montreal.

AXA Investment Management, Storebrand and BNP Paribas Asset Management are among 11 founding partners of Nature Action 100 (NA100), which will coordinate engagement with key companies on nature loss.

Those companies will be named at the project’s official launch in spring 2023.

Other investors include Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the Church Commissioners for England, Domini Impact Investments, Federated Hermes, Karner Blue Capital, Robeco, Christian Brothers Investment Services and Vancity Investment Management.

The group is calling for more investors to join over the coming months.

Originally slated to be hosted by China in 2020, COP15 was postponed four times due to the pandemic. Finally kicked off by Canada last week, it is the biodiversity equivalent to last month’s COP27 climate negotiations.

However, the biodiversity discussions have yet to result in a high-profile global agreement like the 2015 Paris Climate Accords that came out of COP21. There are hopes this will change this year, though, as a ‘post-2020 biodiversity framework’ is being thrashed out as part of COP15.

The agreement, currently being negotiations by nearly 200 governments in Montreal, is set to cover everything from pollution to wildlife. It’s expected to be finalised next week.

Modelled on Climate Action 100+, NA100 will “focus on mobilising companies deemed to be systemically important to the goal of reversing nature and biodiversity loss by 2030”.

It will produce an engagement plan, assigning investors to lead collaborative engagement with certain companies, alongside sectoral strategies, targets, “science-based investor guidance and tools” and annual updates on progress.

The group will also prioritise engagement with policymakers on topics relating to biodiversity and nature loss.

“Companies and investors must integrate nature and biodiversity considerations in their research, engagement and investment processes,” said Liudmila Strakodonskaya, responsible investment analyst at AXA IM, at the launch of NA100 on Sunday. “Dialogue between companies and investors then becomes fundamental to drive a coordinated collective action.”

While CA100+ is run by all five key regional and global sustainable investment bodies – including Ceres, the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – members of NA100 selected IIGCC and Ceres to run it following a tender process earlier this year.

Earlier this month, PRI launched a collaborative engagement programme dedicated to human rights, also modelled on CA100+, but without the other investor bodies involved in its management.

In its coverage of that initiative, IPE revealed that PRI was planning to launch its own stewardship initiative focused on nature next year. It’s currently unclear whether that project will target different companies or investors, but it’s likely to focus heavily on deforestation in its initial phase, IPE understands.

To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.