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Climate change: PKA chief urges business backing for €1.6trn investment push

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Danish pension fund PKA has called for businesses to help finance the changes needed to tackle climate change.

Peter Damgaard Jensen

The €36.8bn fund cited conclusions from a report from the Global Commission on Climate Change, which was produced with the co-operation of the fund’s chief executive Peter Damgaard Jensen (pictured).

The report concluded that DKK12trn (€1.6trn) must be invested by 2030 to deal with some of the most pressing consequences of climate change. It also predicted that this investment could yield nearly DKK50trn in savings through more efficient communities and savings on prevented natural disasters and famines.

Damgaard Jensen said: “The report clearly shows that if we do not deal with climate change, it will result in great costs both humanitarian and economic. It requires us to work together across governments, civil society and, not least, the private business community.”

Damgaard Jensen – who has been appointed by Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the country’s representative in the Global Commission on Climate Change – said the private sector played a key role in the fight against climate change through supporting and financing the necessary restructuring. Governments alone could not solve the problem, he said.

He cited examples of investment in green infrastructure and micro-loans for the world’s poorest farmers as ways the private sector could help those most affected by climate change.

UBS urges better communication over climate change

UBS Asset Management has found energy and utility companies it engaged with on climate change to be responsive and “broadly producing positive disclosure”, according to an update on its climate change engagement work.

UBS Zurich

A UBS office in Zurich

However, it said they needed to better articulate how their business strategies were resilient to climate change. More than half of the 50 companies it engaged with did not detail the possible long-term impacts of global warming on their businesses, it said.

The asset manager said the companies could also improve the availability of data on direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and the clarity of reduction targets. Just over half of the companies validated emissions data independently, and 12 had set “what they believe are science-based targets’.

The asset manager also said the companies could “increase exposure to renewable energy”.

UBS Asset Management launched its climate change engagement in September 2017, deciding to focus on energy and utility firms because power generation accounted for 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking stock of the initiative so far, the asset manager said collaboration with other shareholders and with senior company management was “fundamental to ensure a consistent message from the financial community and to support sustainable change”.

UBS Asset Management led engagement with Equinor as part of its membership of Climate Action 100+, an initiative bringing together investors with more than $33trn (€26.7trn) in assets under management to try to drive change at large corporate greenhouse gas emitters. The Norwegian oil and gas company agreed to pursue a business strategy consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Candriam to offset asset management business’ carbon output

Paperwork

Candriam has cut by half the carbon footprint from its paper usage

Candriam has announced plans to offset the carbon emissions from its asset management activities as part of a proactive corporate environmental strategy.

The €125.3bn investment house has partnered with South Pole, a sustainable business consultancy, to explore ways to offset its estimated carbon output of 9,400 tonnes a year.

In a statement, Candriam said it had been working to reduce the environmental impact of its operations for the past five years, through initiatives such as cutting the carbon dioxide emissions of its company vehicles and halving the carbon footprint of its paper consumption.

“South Pole will invest in carbon offsetting projects such as reforestation, renewable energy and energy efficiency schemes on Candriam’s behalf,” the asset manager said.

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