Asset managers join initiative ahead of landmark UN environment conference.
Nine asset and wealth managers, including the Dutch pension provider APG, have signed up to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge ahead of Stockholm+50, convened by the United Nations (UN) to mark the 50th anniversary of its first environmental conference.
The Finance for Biodiversity Pledge was established in September 2020 with a mission to protect and restore biodiversity through investments and financial activities.
Signatories have committed to collaborating and sharing knowledge, engaging with companies, assessing impact, setting targets and reporting publicly on their progress before 2025.
The new signatures bring the total number of firms signed up to the pledge to 98, collectively managing €14 trillion in assets. The pledge has a number of high-profile signatories, including HSBC, Allianz France, AXA Group and Aviva.
The new signatories to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge were welcomed by Liza Jonson, CEO of pledge signatory Swebank Robur, Sweden’s largest fund management company, during the ‘Financing the Transition to a Nature Positive Future’ event held ahead of Stockholm+50.
The nine new signatories to the pledge were APG, which manages the assets of the Netherlands’ largest pension scheme, Astanor Ventures, Australian Ethical Investment, Deutsche Oppenheim Family Office, LGT Private Banking, Nordis Capital, Oakham Wealth Management, OFI AM, and SLM Partners.
The pledge’s next signatory round is due to take place in September and October, which will coincide with the second part of COP15, which will take place in Kunming, China. The Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) will be finalised at COP15, comprising of 21 targets and ten ‘milestones’ proposed for 2030 which aim to halt biodiversity and achieve recovery by 2050.
It is estimated that US$44 trillion of economic value generation is moderately or highly dependent on nature, over half of the world’s GDP, requiring the financial sector to take greater account of biodiversity risks and impacts in their financing, investing and underwriting activities.
Ahead of COP15 later this year, a number of initiatives are underway to enable firms and investors to support biodiversity protection and regeneration, including the development of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). Building on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures framework, the TNFD aims to develop and deliver a reporting framework that will help investors and organisations outline their exposure to and impact on nature-related risks.
The Stockholm+50 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, which was responsible for first making the link between environment and poverty and bringing it to the attention of the international community. The conference is intended to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action to deliver its Sustainable Development Goals.
Also at the event, the UK government announced a £330 million contribution to the Global Environment Facility, which aims to support developing countries in tackling environmental problems and to deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Zac Goldsmith, the UK government’s International Environment Minister, said: “COP26 showed nature must be at the centre of any solution to tackle the global challenges we face, from the loss of biodiversity, hunger, poverty and pollution to the causes and impacts of climate change. Protecting our forests, oceans and species is essential for our economy and survival but time is running out to rapidly scale up the finance for nature that is critical to deliver an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework.”
— Finance for Biodiversity Pledge (@FinanceforBio) June 1, 2022