Aviva Investors has announced a new climate initiative, the Climate Engagement Escalation Programme, with commitment to divest from non-responsive companies. The firm will require these companies to deliver net zero scope 3 emissions by 2050 and establish robust transition roadmaps to demonstrate their commitment to immediate action on climate change as the world’s carbon budget diminishes.
Under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, virtually all the world’s nations pledged to limit global warming to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and also, if possible, “pursue” efforts to cap warming at 1.5C. At present, the world is not close to being on track to meet either target.
Five years ago, in Paris, the governments of the world pledged to take urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.
Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of that pledge, the time has come to take stock of the progress we’ve made and what it is going to take to limit warming to 1.5C. One thing is clear: to meet the Paris objectives, we will need to put an end to the expansion of fossil fuel production.
After an all-night negotiating session, European Union leaders agreed on Friday morning to cut net carbon emissions by 55 percent in the next decade from levels measured in 1990, overcoming the concerns of nations still heavily dependent on coal and taking a critical step in the effort to become climate-neutral by 2050.
The recent net-zero pledges by major emitting countries and the potential for a “green recovery” from the Covid-19 pandemic “presents the opening” for the world to close the growing “gap” between existing commitments and what is needed to limit global warming to meet the Paris Agreement goals.
The Climate Action Tracker group looked at new climate promises from China and other nations, along with the carbon plans of US President-elect Joe Biden. These commitments would mean the rise in world temperatures could be held to 2.1C by the end of this century.
Aviva has set a new 2050 net-zero carbon emissions target for its own auto-enrolment default pension funds. This is aligned to the Paris Agreement and the Government’s own net-zero target. Aviva is committed to making progress towards the net-zero target as quickly as possible and is exploring the feasibility of a 2030 target, in-line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5-degree pathway4. As part of Aviva’s strategy to achieve this, it plans to invest over £5 billion into low carbon equities and climate transition strategies across its default funds over the next 18 months and will look to increase this level of investment after that.
In 2019, Ottawa City Council joined cities around the world in declaring a climate emergency and committed to reducing emissions to net zero by 2050. Today, City Council unanimously passed Energy Evolution—its plan for achieving that goal. The plan focuses on achieving ambitious carbon reduction targets by reducing energy use through conservation and efficiency, increasing the supply of renewable energy through local and regional production, and prioritizing the procurement of clean renewable energy.