COP15: More than 100 investors sign on to biodiversity impact initiative

Published 21:55 on December 11, 2022  /  Last updated at 22:39 on December 11, 2022  /  Biodiversity  /  No Comments

A group of global institutional investors launched the Nature Action 100 (NA100) at the UN’s COP15 biodiversity negotiations on Sunday, calling on the financial sector to help address nature loss through engagement and decision making which incorporates portfolio companies’ impact on biodiversity.

A group of global institutional investors launched the Nature Action 100 (NA100) at the UN’s COP15 biodiversity negotiations on Sunday, calling on the financial sector to help address nature loss through engagement and decision making which incorporates portfolio companies’ impact on biodiversity.

NA100 intends to incorporate lessons learned from Climate Action 100+, the world’s largest climate-focused investor initiative with 700 signatories representing $68 billion in assets that was launched in 2017.

The new biodiversity version of that platform aspires to sign on investors who commit to aligning their investment flows, or investment-company engagement activities, with COP15 outcomes – potentially including “net-zero loss of biodiversity in the near-to-medium term and net positive impact on biodiversity in the long term”.

“Over the years, there have been many important investor engagements with corporations that touched on aspects of the biodiversity crisis, but none that placed biodiversity front and centre,” said Adam Kanzer, head of stewardship for the Americas, at BNP Paribas Asset Management, one of the investors spearheading the initiative.

“Nature Action 100 intends to fill that gap, engaging a broad range of companies on their most significant impacts to help place them on nature-positive pathways,” he added.

Investor networks Ceres and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change will co-lead the initiative’s secretariat.

Financial think-tank Planet Tracker and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation have been tasked with technical advisory to ensure investor guidance links to the latest science and policy advice.

Some 117 investors have already signed up to the initiatives, speakers said on Sunday, but the group wants to grow this number over the coming months  – noting that the visibility provided to biodiversity through COP15 could help in this regard.

But the group is not just looking for long-term corporate pledges around biodiversity, and instead wants to ensure more concrete and shorter-term action and transparency.

“We are looking to the first wave of this initiative to really focus on a set of high-level investor expectations,” Kanzer said.

“We want to support oversight. We want to see policy in place that covers all corporate activities, including the full value chain.”

“We want to see an internal assessment of the company’s impacts on nature and their dependencies on nature.

“We want to see a meaningful plan for addressing [biodiversity impacts] … and we want to make sure that companies are lobbying in line with whatever comes out of this COP,” he added.

Speakers acknowledged however that details are still being worked out, and that more partners need to be found to drive broader collaboration.

For now, the initiative will serve as a convening platform to unite global investors working to drive action on biodiversity and reverse nature loss.

A more formal launch of the Nature Action 100 initiative will take place in 2023.

By Katherine Monahan – katherine@carbon-pulse.com

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