HESTA, the super fund for health and community workers, has become the first Australian organisation to sign-on to the Paris Aligned Investors Group, a global forum that provides a framework, and a community, to help investors to align their portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and define an achievable path towards net-zero by 2050.

The group has grown to include 40 investors, with combined assets under management of $US2.35 trillion. 

Members sign-on to the Paris Aligned Investment Initiative Net Zero Asset Owner Commitment, it’s a mouthful, but it represents a firm target to decarbonise their portfolios by 2050, or sooner. But also, to set interim targets, to push forward and to make intentional investments in climate solutions. 

The Net Zero Investment Framework was developed through an initial phase of research and, once a draft was published, four regional investor networks launched the initiative as a global effort. They are:

  • Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) in Australasia
  • Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) in Asia
  • Ceres in North America
  • Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) in Europe

As net-zero goals have proliferated, it has become clear there’s a need for a clearly defined model for planning strategy, and measuring progress. This framework makes some progress towards this goal. It provides a basis for institutional investors to ensure best-practice in their target setting, engagement, investment methodologies, making decisions around divestment, and, how to approach policy discussions. 

Commenting on the commitment, HESTA CEO Debby Blakey, said: “We’re proud to join like-minded global investors committed to achieving net zero by 2050. Climate change represents one of the most significant challenges to the wellbeing of current and future generations. That’s why at HESTA we’re focussed on mitigating the risks of climate change across our portfolio and identifying opportunities as we transition to a low carbon economy.

Our comprehensive Climate Change Transition Plan (CCTP) can help protect and enhance the long-term performance of our members’ investments, while driving meaningful change and contributing to a healthier planet and society. There is no doubt that the social, environmental and economic cost of inaction is going to be far greater than the cost of responding to climate change.”

HESTA jois other new members from Denmark: Railpen, Tesco Pension Investment and Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company.

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