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NZAOA Members Challenged on Coal Policy

Analysis conducted by NGO Reclaim Finance has shown that less than a quarter of Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) members have policies restricting finance to coal companies in place. The NZAOA’s position on thermal coal states that there should be no further financing of new coal plants and that existing ones should be phased out – but it does not insist on restricting financing. Reclaim Finance reviewed the coal positions of 53 NZAOA members through the coal policy tracker, noting that 13% of them had not published a coal position. “We assume that any significant discrepancy between our conclusions and those of the NZAOA is not a result of sampling error, given the large size of our sample,” Reclaim Finance said. The NZAOA told ESG Investor that the thermal coal position had been developed in line with the latest climate modelling with input from strategic advisors representing civil society, and that it focused on alliance member expectations for portfolio companies and other stakeholders – including policymakers. “The review of members’ alignment [with the policy] is governed by the alliance’s accountability mechanism; the alliance maintains its utmost confidence in this process, which includes a peer review group,” the NZAOA said. “Alliance members may employ a range of tools and actions, including portfolio allocation and engagement, to support alignment with the position. The alliance does not comment on individual member activities.” The NZAOA is currently updating its coal position.

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