New Working Group to Accelerate Asset Owners’ Net Zero Work in Asia

The Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) has announced a new asset owners working group for Asia’s pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and insurers – to start in January 2024.

The new AIGCC Asset Owners’ Working Group will meet the growing interest in net zero alignment from Asian sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and insurers. 

Asset owners across Asia are accelerating their net zero alignment work, recognising that they cannot divest from climate risk.

They are therefore increasingly seeking other ways to reduce their exposure to climate risks and position capital for the opportunities worth trillions of dollars in Asia’s transition to net zero emissions.

Through the working group asset owners will:

  • Learn from experts and best practices from regional and global peers in the many aspects of net zero investing,
  • Develop capacity to align investor portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement,
  • Build momentum for taking climate action to meet their fiduciary duties.

The working group forum will have an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing between asset owners who are operating in the distinctive Asian markets.

Increasing Net Zero Momentum Amongst Asset Owners in Asia

The launch of the new asset owner working group follows on from a special asset owner roundtable held in Tokyo. The roundtable was co-hosted by Nippon Life Insurance Company, Nissay Asset Management Corporation, and Generation Investment Management.

It was the fourth AIGCC roundtable for asset owners in Asia, who are increasingly committed to a net zero economy.

They are evolving their net zero journey amidst encouraging developments in policy, regulations around disclosure, development of taxonomies, transition finance, and market-level roadmaps.

The transition in the Asia-Pacific is anticipated to require US$71 trillion in investments, to zero out the world’s carbon emissions by 2050. This is far less than the cost of inaction in a region highly exposed to the increasing costs of climate change-related events that are playing out on a weekly basis.

These dynamics have led to the growing interest by asset owners to drive net-zero portfolio implementation.

“Mobilising key asset owners to act and lead by example in their respective markets on climate is critical to catalysing the investment value chain. This work continues to be a core focus for AIGCC, said Rebecca Mikula-Wright, CEO, of AIGCC.

“We have learned from experience that convening investors via focused working groups provides a unique acceleration forum to better understand and learn from the challenges and opportunities investors are navigating in transitioning not only their portfolios to net zero but whole economies – at the speed that is required.”