The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance has added three new members with combined assets under management (AUM) of $200 billion, committing to transition their investment portfolios to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Announced at the 19th November Race to Zero Dialogues Finance Day, the new members are: Denmark’s P+, Pension Fund for Academics; Australian insurer QBE; UK’s St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

Membership of the Alliance has grown to 33 managing a combined $5.1 trillion assets, from 12 members managing $2.4 trillion at the launch in September 2019.

Günther Thallinger, Alliance Chair and Member of the Board of Management, Allianz SE, said: “We welcome the commitment to climate resilience these geographically diverse asset owners have made to support the transition to a net-zero economy. We hope that the leadership shown by both new and existing members will encourage other investors to act urgently to align their portfolios with a 1.5°C scenario and to play their role in meeting the Paris Agreement.”

QBE is the first Australian headquartered insurance business to join the Alliance. Australian pension fund CBUS joined the Alliance in August. Richard Pryce, QBE Interim Group CEO, said: “Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires collective action and we’re pleased to be working with our peers through the Asset Owner Alliance to transition our investment portfolio to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Denmark’s P+, Pension Fund for Academics became the fifth Danish member of the Alliance. CEO Søren Kolbye Sørensen said: “We believe that our commitment to the Asset Owner Alliance is a key milestone to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Our commitment is part of our new ambitious climate strategy, where we have defined specific actions in order to bring our portfolios on track to reduce emissions in line with the 2050 target.”

“We see the Alliance as a unique platform to cooperate with other asset owners and together define targets and tools to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy and achieve real world impact, and we look forward to be part of it,” he added.

St. James’s Place Wealth Management, a FTSE-100 wealth management business, joins UK counterparts Aviva, BT Pension Scheme, and the Church of England investment bodies. CEO Andrew Croft said: “Making a climate commitment is imperative to help our clients achieve financial well-being in a world worth living in. Supporting the transition to a low carbon economy makes economic sense and, as responsible stewards of our clients’ assets, we must be proactively looking at the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. We are proud to be aligning our investment principles and engagement activities with the Alliance, helping accelerate the global transition to carbon neutrality.”

This autumn, the Alliance published plans to reduce emissions, increase investment in the net-zero emissions transition, and enhance influence on markets and government policy. Further information about the Target Setting Protocol can be found here.

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Oliver Wagg
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About the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Convened by UNEP FI and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Alliance is an international group of institutional investors delivering on a bold commitment to transition our investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. The Alliance shows united investor action to align portfolios with a 1.5°C scenario, addressing Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance is part of the UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign and supported by WWF and Mission 2020.