Just 0.5 per cent of assets held by the global funds industry are aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to below 2 degrees celsius, according to research.
Analysis by impact disclosure charity CDP showed of 16,500 investment funds, worth $27trn (£19.6trn), just 158 were assessed as having a future emissions projection of “well-below” 2 degrees celsius and 102 funds were temperature rated at 1.5 degrees celsius, the more ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.
More than 8,000 funds, or 62 per cent of total assets, were “temperature scored” at over 2.75 degrees of global warming.
The funds included in the research represented 38 per cent of the total net assets of regulated open-ended funds domiciled in Europe, US and Asia and investing in public equities and corporate bonds.
The research highlighted funds for sale in the UK aligned with the Paris Agreement :
|Name||Asset manager||Temperature alignment forecast (Scope 1 + 2 GHG)|
|AXA WF Framlington Europe Small Cap||AXA Investment Managers||1.5|
|BL Equities Europe||Banque de Luxembourg||1.5|
|BL Sustainable Horizon||Banque de Luxembourg||1.5|
|iShares OMX Stockholm Capped UCITS ETF||BlackRock||1.5|
|iShares Smart City Infrastructure UCITS ETF||BlackRock||1.5|
|DNCA Europe Smaller Companies Fund||DNCA Finance||1.5|
|DWS Invest ESG Climate Tech||DWS||1.5|
|JPM Europe Dynamic Small Cap||JPMorgan Funds||1.5|
|JPM Europe Small Cap||JPMorgan Funds||1.5|
|JPM Europe Smaller Companies||JPMorgan Funds||1.5|
|JPMorgan European Smaller Companies Trust PLC||JPMorgan Funds||1.5|
|Lyxor Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF||Lyxor||1.5|
|Premier Miton European Opportnts||Premier Miton||1.5|
|Schroder European Smaller Companies||Schroders||1.5|
|UBS (Lux) Eq S - Small Caps Europe||UBS||1.5|
Source: CDP (2021)
Laurent Babikian, global director of capital markets at CDP, said the data is “catastrophic”.
“Despite mounting net-zero commitments from the financial sector, and an apparent ESG ‘boom’, the truth is that not even 1 per cent of fund assets are currently Paris-aligned,” he said.
“It’s an urgent reality check for real, credible actions now from the financial community to step up engagement with their portfolios and take decisive action to transition their portfolios onto a 1.5 degrees celsius path.”
He added the fund market reflected the real economy, and currently the corporate sector’s emissions ambition was “too low”.
“Collaboration and engagement are key: investors and lenders must engage all companies in their portfolios to set science-based targets now.”
The funds available to UK investors that align with the Paris Agreement included AXA’s WF Framlington Europe Small Cap Fund, as well as BlackRock’s iShares Smart City Infrastructure UCITS ETF and JP Morgan’s Small Cap and Smaller Companies funds.
The analysis was based on CDP’s temperature ratings, which create a “temperature pathway” for firms that shows the long-term global warming potential if global emissions were to reduce at the same pace as the company.
When looking at scope 3 emissions, which are from the firm’s products or emissions in its supply chain, just 65 funds were aligned to the Paris Agreement (0.2 per cent).
The group, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, LGIM and UBS Asset Management, warned governments that their ability to properly allocate the trillions of dollars needed to support the transition to net-zero was being hampered by a gap between commitments and actual reduction in emissions.
Yesterday, Dynamic Planner said financial advisers have a "critical role to play" in helping investors understand sustainability trends and matching the products that suit their preferences.
The firm has launched a white paper style sustainability guide for financial advisers to use with their clients, ahead of Cop 26 next week.