- Aktia Bank, Amundi, Colchester Global Investors, Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, Ninety One and Wells Fargo Asset Management join the ASCOR Project Advisory Committee representing over US $5 trillion
- SURA Asset Management, Latin America’s largest pension fund provider joins the ASCOR Project Steering Committee
The ASCOR Project – backed by the BT Pension Scheme (BTPS), the Church of England Pensions Board, the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA), Ceres, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), supported by Chronos Sustainability – has been established to provide investors with a common lens to understand sovereign exposure to climate risk and how governments plan to transition to a low-carbon economy.
The tool will enable the current and future climate change governance and performance of sovereigns to be fairly and appropriately measured, monitored and compared. This assessment framework will then be used to produce an annual public assessment of the climate change governance and climate change performance of sovereigns.
Today, the ASCOR project welcomes Aktia Bank, Amundi, Colchester Global Investors, Franklin Templeton, MFS Investment Management, Ninety One Plc and Wells Fargo Asset Management to the ASCOR project Advisory Committee. These investors will support the development of the framework, bringing with them their investment experience and knowledge of climate change assessment frameworks for sovereigns. The ASCOR steering committee also welcomes SURA Asset Management, Latin America’s largest pension fund provider, adding to the project’s international investment representation.
Work on the detailed design of the ASCOR tool will commence in October 2021, and a dedicated website is expected to be launched in mid-2022.
Victoria Barron, ASCOR Chair and Head of Sustainable Investment, BT Pension Scheme Management said: “The members of our Advisory Committee, along with SURA Asset Management, provide us with a deep knowledge of sovereign assessment processes, and importantly, with perspectives and insights from all of the world’s major investment markets. They will help ensure that we develop a tool that is relevant to asset owners and managers, of all sizes and across all markets.”
Henrik Paldynski, Head of Emerging Market Debt, Aktia Bank Plc said: “Given Aktia’s long history in assessing ESG risk in especially emerging and frontier economies we are very glad to join the ASCOR project advisory committee to promote sovereign climate-related risk assessment and drive for real change.”
Caroline Le Meaux, Head of ESG Research & Voting at Amundi, said: “ESG and climate issues could materialize in financial risks for investors in the corporate as well as in the sovereign spaces. We need sustainability issues to be addressed also by sovereigns to contribute to the stability of global society, key for a robust economic development. Amundi has developed an ESG sovereign scoring methodology and engaged with many Emerging Markets issuers. We will be happy to share this expertise and develop an efficient tool with other members of the ASCOR Project to support investors in this field”.
Ian Sims, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Colchester Global Investors said: “Colchester, as a sovereign only asset manager, is delighted to support this global collaborative ASCOR project. It aims to develop a transparent assessment framework, which should enable investors to make more informed and objective decisions with regards to sovereigns’ climate change governance and performance, whilst also providing decision useful information for engagement.”
Michelle Auger, CFA, Global ESG Strategy Director at Franklin Templeton, said: “The ASCOR project’s objectives align with our belief that engagement with sovereigns is challenging, and it is critical investors can access appropriate data analysis, tools and solutions to understand the climate change challenge. Western Asset, Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, Brandywine Global and Templeton Global Macro, all stand behind this important project.”
Bill Adams, CIO of Global Fixed Income, MFS Investment Management said: “The ASCOR project is closely aligned with the efforts of MFS’ Sovereign Working Group, which was established to assess sovereign ESG risks and opportunities and develop a framework to support investment decision-making and engagement. Governments play a critical role in mitigating climate change and we are happy to support the development of a platform designed to improve collaboration and focus the dialogue with sovereigns.”
Peter Eerdmans, Head of Fixed Income, Ninety One said: “Developing tools that assess climate-related risk and opportunities alongside fair and equitable transition pathways for emerging markets has been an acute focus for Ninety One over the last three years. We look forward to the chance to build on this progress with the collaboration and support of the ASCOR Project.”
Hannah Skeates, co-head of Sustainable Investing, Wells Fargo Asset Management said: “Wells Fargo Asset Management is excited to join this global group in becoming a part of the ASCOR Advisory Committee. The actions of sovereigns are vital in the urgent move to combat climate change, and we look forward to supporting this project’s important role in progressing the assessment of their performance.”
SURA Asset Management commented: “Climate change has been core in the design of our responsible investment strategy as a major threat for our fiduciary duty and commitment for a more sustainable business environment. This tool would help align efforts on assessing sovereigns on a climate change perspective, while fairly considering realities of different level of development in countries.”
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