Net zero investor group members set more short-term emissions targets

Steam rises from the Niederaussem lignite power plant, in Niederaussem, Germany, January 16, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

Sept 20 (Reuters) - The Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA) said on Tuesday that nearly two thirds of its members had set short-term goals to cut portfolio emissions in line with capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius as "the clock is ticking" on climate change.

NZAOA, which is composed of 74 investors such as pension schemes and insurance companies with a combined $10.6 trillion in assets, is helping its members decarbonise their portfolios as part of efforts to fight climate change.

While all have committed to do so by 2050, the group is increasingly asking them to implement shorter-term objectives.

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"We have the requirement that every new joiner must within a year set these interim targets," Günther Thallinger, chair of the Alliance, told Reuters.

In its second annual progress report, launched during New York Climate Week, NZAOA said 41 members had set goals to cut portfolio emissions by at least 22% by 2025 or 49% by 2030, commitments which cover $3.3 trillion in assets.

"Much still remains to be done," the group wrote as it aims to grow to 200 members, or to $25 trillion in assets by 2025.

"While $7.1 trillion in AUM (assets under management) is now encompassed by the Alliance's pledge, this amount must still grow to create a significant breakthrough," it added.

"The question whether they join us or not is very simple: 'can they make the commitment?' Thallinger said, pointing to an "accountability mechanism" that compels companies to make progress to protect their reputation.

NZAOA, which works with strategic advisers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), wants standardised emissions reporting.

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Reporting by Juliette Portala; Editing by Simon Jessop and Alexander Smith

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