Piani to Use CA100+ Role to Turn “Ambitions to Action”

The investor-led initiative has appointed six new members to accelerate the implementation of credible transition plans, following phase two launch.  

Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) has increased investor representation on its global steering committee, adding Phoenix Group Head of Stewardship Valeria Piani alongside five others to further expand its geographic experience and expertise. 

The committee is comprised of CEOs and directors from five investor networks – the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), Ceres, Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and UN-convened Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – and ten investor representatives. 

Following the updated strategy for CA100+’s second phase, the climate-focused collaborative engagement initiative has aimed to increase investor representation. To achieve this, each of the five investor networks comprising the committee is now able to appoint two investor representatives. The investor representative term length is three and a half years with one renewal of a further three and a half years. 

“I have been involved in the early stages of the initiative when it was just a concept and I have seen it through the eyes of both an asset manager and a long-term oriented asset owner,” Piani told ESG Investor, adding that her goal is to build on this experience and work with other steering committee members to support the shift in CA100+’s focus from “ambitions to actions”. 

“The available time for taking urgent action is running out fast, and investors have a huge role to play to support the transition to a low-carbon economy,” she added. 

In May, Phoenix Group became the CA100+’s new Shell co-lead, following the Church of England stepping back from engagement after five years and divesting from the oil and gas giant the following month.  

The steering committee determines the CA100+’s mission and purpose, including the high-level goals that form the basis of the engagement agenda with investee companies. It also offers input and feedback on strategic priorities, mission, variations to governance process, and establishment of working groups and sub-committees. 

“Our appointment has increased representation from asset owners who play a significant role in the investment chain by integrating climate change considerations when selecting, appointing and monitoring asset managers, in addition to undertaking direct stewardship activities on key holdings,” Piani said. 

Joining the Committee alongside Piani are Flora Wang, Head of Stewardship, Asia at Fidelity International and Jane Karen Ho, Head of Stewardship for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management from January 2024, who have been selected by AIGCC. 

The IGCC nominated Alison Ewings, General Manager ESG at QIC, the PRI picked Alejandro Bujanos, Head of Sustainable Investing at Sura Mexico, and Ceres chose Peter Cashion, Managing Investment Director of Sustainable Investments at CalPERS. 

Strategy updates 

CA100+ was established in 2017 as an investor-led initiative aimed at collectively supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement by challenging the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to take the necessary action on climate change.  

The initiative has more than 700 investors, responsible for over US$68 trillion in assets under management – making it the largest global investor engagement initiative on climate change. 

CA100+ focuses on 171 firms that are key to driving the global net zero transition, with a total market capitalisation of US$10.3 trillion across industries including oil and gas, aviation, mining, and consumer goods, among others.  oil 

In June, CA100+ unveiled its second phase. This saw a shift in focus from corporate climate-related disclosure to the adoption of climate transition plans for corporates.  

Piani said phase two of the initiative saw an updated strategy which specifically aims to help “drive progress – or to move from words to actions”. This includes the implementation of a governance framework, taking action to reduce value chain GHG emissions and providing enhanced corporate disclosure on, and implementing, transition plans. 

The second phase will run until 2030, targeting a global increase in active ownership and the creation of long-term shareholder value. 

In March, the CA100+ updated its Net Zero Company Benchmark which introduced a new disclosure indicator for historical emissions reductions and amendments to indicators covering decarbonisation strategy, capital allocation, policy engagement, and just transition.  

“Critical test” 

Its latest benchmark assessments released in October showed that long-term targets are not supported by detail on short-term goals, decarbonisation strategy and capital allocation. 

“Capital allocation to support new business models will be the critical test to define credible transition plans by companies we are engaging with,” Piani said. “2030 is a critical deadline for the economy to achieve the level of decarbonisation required to achieve net zero in 2050. 

“The recent enhancements to the CA100+ Net Zero Company Benchmark will also support the initiative to measure progress over the time beyond just improved disclosure,” she added. 

According to Piani, CA100+ is currently developing workstreams on thematic and sector engagements that will be launched by end of this year.  

Further, she noted these are “core to the implementation of the updated strategy for phase two”, allowing the initiative to take a value chain approach to engagement for particular sectors including oil and gas, chemicals and steel, as well as in individual dialogues with companies. 

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