The Church of England too is ditching stocks over climate concerns, even if Joffe says she believes that “having a seat at the table” is generally more effective. Last year, the church’s two investment bodies restricted investments in companies including Berkshire Hathaway and Korea Electric Power Corp over climate change concerns.
Joffe says a tougher approach, involving activism and divestment, “will have to become more mainstream”, especially if asset managers and asset owners are to meet their net zero commitments.
For companies, this means a tougher time from shareholders, says Tom Matthews, a partner who specialises in corporate activism at White and Case. He adds the “narrative around climate change has shifted significantly versus where it was in 2015”, when the Paris agreement was signed. “We’re seeing companies getting targeted because they haven’t woken up quickly enough.”
As for Aviva Investors, Baig says he believes the UK asset manager will end up selling out of at least some of the companies it is targeting because they are not making progress quick enough. “We have to be bold enough to walk way,” he says.
Stay or sell? The $110tn investment industry gets tougher on climate https://t.co/JqKFSC5rdn
— FT Markets (@FTMarkets) November 9, 2021