D.Germany’s largest financial group wants to invest its customer money in a more climate-friendly way. Accordingly, the greenhouse gas emissions of the companies in which the insurance group is invested via stocks and bonds are to be reduced by a quarter below the level of 2019 in the next five years. The alliance announced on Thursday.
These requirements are an intermediate goal and they only apply to its own 800 billion euro portfolio, but not to investments that the group manages for third parties through its investment companies Pacific Investment Management (Pimco) and Allianz Global Investors. Stricter emission limits should also apply to real estate. The group itself wants to reduce the greenhouse gases that are generated during operations by 30 percent by 2025 compared to 2019.
“We start with the changes with ourselves – in order to then support others to develop in the direction of climate neutrality. We are convinced that the integration of climate and sustainability aspects will have a positive effect on our investment strategy, ”said Allianz board member Günther Thallinger.
A good two years ago, the Munich-based company joined forces with other major investors in the so-called Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By the year 2050, insurance companies such as Allianz and Axa, the French state pension fund Caisse des Dépots and the Canadian pension insurer CDPQ want to make their investment portfolio climate-neutral and thus meet the goal of the Paris climate summit of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Since then, all shares and corporate bonds have been checked for their compatibility with the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Association to increase pressure
The alliance announced to the FAZ in October last year that the Climate Alliance, which is part of the United Nations and which now includes 30 international investment companies, has set itself an ambitious interim goal by 2025. “In the next five years the emissions of our investments will decrease measurably”, said Allianz manager Udo Riese and spoke of a clear signal “that something is happening immediately”.
The calculation: when large corporations such as the Munich insurance giant and internationally active asset managers and pension funds with their managed investments of more than 5 trillion dollars join forces, they increase the pressure on companies that do their business with fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. Energy-intensive industries in particular are being forced to rethink their thinking, otherwise they will lose their investors.
The past year has shown that markets and states have to learn to deal with new risks such as pandemics, climate change or social unrest, said Allianz boss Oliver Bäte: “The most important task of the coming decade is to shape a sustainable economy and society. “