London-based responsible investment campaign organisation ShareAction is taking over the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP).

ShareAction said absorbing the AODP was part of its strategy to broaden its remit globally, and a “natural” next step after launching the European Responsible Investment Network in June 2016.

The takeover would strengthen ShareAction’s focus on climate risk, it said.

“This global vantage point, leveraging AODP’s strong US and Australian presence, will enhance ShareAction’s capacity to champion responsible investment at a time when more asset managers are realising the relevance of climate change risk to long-term value for the millions of citizen investors they serve,” it said.

Led by Julian Poulter, the AODP is probably best known for its rankings the world’s largest pension funds and asset owners, based on how they address climate risk.

It included an assessment of asset managers for the first time in its most recent AODP Global Climate Index of the largest 500 asset owners. Last year it said it would also be assessing other actors in the investment chain, such as investment consultants and proxy/engagement advisers. 

Poulter, CEO of AODP, said the deal had come at a “critical juncture for climate disclosure”.

“The responsible investment movement has already shifted billions of dollars away from high carbon investments and changed investors’ and regulators’ perspective on climate change from the ideological or partisan to one of risk management and long-term benefit calculations,” he added.

Catherine Howarth, chief executive of ShareAction, also said that many large investors already made climate-related disclosures under the AODP framework, meaning that the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures “have already, effectively, been adopted by market leaders”.

“We now need the G20 members and associated institutions to drive disclosure in their own countries, and to move swiftly towards a globally consistent and mandatory disclosure platform,” she added.