AXA’s new 2022 Climate and Biodiversity Report: Accelerating Transition claims that the firm is outperforming benchmarks in aligning its investments with the Paris Agreement.
The firm says in the report that its corporate assets, sovereign debt, and aggregate investments had warming potentials of 3.66˚C, 1.98˚C, and 2.62˚C. This, says AXA, is below the benchmarks levels set out by the Paris Agreement is 3.67˚C, 2.44˚C, and 2.96˚C. Directly, the firm says that it decreased its CO2 emission by 61% between 2019 and 2021, and that it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
Thomas Buberl, CEO of the firm, wrote in the report: “In 2021, AXA reduced the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio by 29% compared to 2019. This result reflects changes in the real economy and select management actions and is a demonstration of what is possible for large institutional investors committed to fighting climate change. It is an encouraging step to continue setting ambitious goals for future intermediate emissions reduction targets.
The report includes a joint interview with Frédéric de Courtois, deputy CEO, and George Stansfield, deputy CEO and group general secretary. De Courtois spoke of how the process of transition will be a lengthy one.
He said: “We continue to increase our green investment target, which currently sits at €26bn by 2023, and we continue to actively seek new opportunities. For example, our recently announced commitment to invest €1.5bn in forests. With this commitment we have demonstrated innovation by investing in nature-based solutions. At the same time, we must finance the real economy as it transitions, but this process will not happen overnight. There is no magic button for transition: we have a responsibility to accompany the real economy as a whole on this journey.”
Meanwhile, Stansfield said that the harmonisation and improvement in reporting standards should be a priority.
He added: “More broadly, many sustainability practices have been, and are being co-built by the private sector, regulators, scientists, and civil society organizations. We believe in sharing expertise and supporting transparency in reporting activities, which is what drove AXA to release its first Climate Report in 2016 using the TCFD recommendations. Since its creation in 2015, the TCFD has helped drive climate-risk related market transparency measures, which are being adopted by many governments around the world including in the EU, the UK, and potentially the US.”
The full report is available here.