We are delighted to see that Aviva, a major insurer, is supporting the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to study portfolio value at risk from climate damage. As we described in our paper (“The Case for Forceful Stewardship (Part 1): The Financial Risk from Global Warming”) earlier this year, and as the EIU’s more detailed research now shows, it is clearly in the financial interest of pension fund clients and beneficiaries – as well as to the benefit of society as a whole – that mainstream institutional investors move swiftly from thought leadership to take assertive action to encourage corporates to reduce emissions. This is the best way for investors to manage portfolio carbon risk given its systemic nature and the fact that it cannot be hedged away.
Aviva has made important steps in this direction by recognising purposeful stewardship as one of their main pillars of their action on dealing with carbon investment risk and by implementing this approach with regards to coal companies.
Howard Covington and Raj Thamotheram