Church of England joins net-zero asset alliance

The Church of England’s investment bodies have joined the UN’s Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, committing themselves to decarbonizing their investments by 2050.

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance has added to two new members last week: the Church of England’s three national investment bodies and Italian insurance group Generali. The new additions bring the total assets managed by Alliance members to over $4.3 trillion, according to a press release from the UNEP Finance Initiative.

The group of 18 pension funds and insurers that belong to the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance are committed to decarbonizing their portfolios to net-zero emissions by 2050 to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C. Instead of pursuing divestment, the alliance members will work closely with portfolio companies to change their business models and adopt climate-friendly practices.

“Climate change is the challenge of our age,” said Andrew Brown, CEO of the Church Commissioners for England. “The 2020s are the decade in which we need to make decisive progress, both halting the growth in global GHG emissions and setting the world on course to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

According to the UNEP Finance Initiative, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is the most ambitious institutional investor initiative to-date. Members are voluntarily holding themselves accountable for portfolios that reflect net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with what the science-based targets.

Image credit: Antony McCallum

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