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Keynote speech - Climate Investment Summit 2021

På Climate Investment Summit var Investering Danmarks formand, Peter Kjærgaard, inviteret til at holde keynote speech under overskriften: "Reporting on internationally ambitious asset owner and asset manager climate commitments."
Det talte ord gælder.

In Denmark, the financial sector has the ambition to actively promote and accelerate the flow of private finance towards sustainability. 

Our sector plays an important role in all parts of the economy and thus has a great potential to restructure the economy towards a more sustainable one, among other things by channeling investments in a more sustainable direction.  

We do that by developing and offering more green products to our customers. And by advising and guiding our customers to make more sustainable choices. 

We believe that we –- together with our customers – private as well as businesses – can make a difference.  

Our industry’s focus is on staying at the forefront and giving inspiration world-wide in this field. 

Therefore, we are thankful for the opportunity to present our results so far and future commitments. 

Today I have three main messages: 

  1. The carbon footprint of Danish retail equity investment funds has dropped significantly since 2020 
  2. The reduction is driven by shutdowns related to Covid19, but also by a strong focus on sustainable investments among Danish asset managers - that focus will continue in the coming years 
  3. The reduction brought us closer to our ambitious carbon footprint reduction target - 75% reduction by 2030 – a target in which we will include more asset classes as more reliable data becomes available. 

Last year at the Climate Investment Summit, The Danish Investment Association made the first sector-wide commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of Dan-ish retail equity investment funds.  

Our ambition is a 75% reduction by 2030 relative to MSCI ACWI Index in 2020. As far as we know, this is the world’s first CO2-reduction target at sector-level for asset managers.   

The target is both measurable and ambitious.  

There is no doubt that we need to set ambitious and measurable targets to help to fight the climate challenge. But we also need to progress against the targets. 

Looking down the road now the results speak for itself.  

Since new year a 9 percent reduction in the CO2 footprint was reached. Overall, the CO2 footprint on Danes’ investments is now 22 percent lower than the world index’s in 2020. That corresponds to almost 1 million tones carbon dioxide – the same as if every Danish adult drove 1,900 kilometers less in a petrol car.   

We have taken a big step in the right direction thanks to an intense focus on sustainability among Danish asset managers. More sustainable investment opportunities have been launched and demand from our customers is strong.   

But we are not blind to the fact that shutdowns and restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic gave us tailwind in 2020 towards our target. Some rebound must be expected next year.  

This sets even higher demand on Danish Asset Managers to continue our journey down the road towards lower emissions. Our target is unchanged. And Danes' investments will continue to be an important driver of the green transition, not only in Denmark, but globally. 

Danish private investors have invested more than DKK 1,100 billion in investment funds. A large part is invested abroad, including Emerging Markets around the globe from Brazil to India.  

This means that our focus on sustainability has a global impact, and that we sup-port the transition towards sustainability in all continents of the world – also in Emerging Markets. Our tools include active ownership and exclusion of companies causing negative impacts. 

Let me give you some examples from Emerging Markets:  

One Danish asset manager has monitored and researched companies that could be involved in deforestation and activities with severe biodiversity im-pacts.  

Currently, they have restricted 18 companies involved in deforestation through their own operations and their supply chain and 43 companies for biodiversity impacts. Among these are Brazilian companies involved in deforestation in Amazon.  

Another example is that several Danish asset managers and asset owners via the Climate Action 100+ initiative have contributed to change the course of Hon Hai or Foxconn - a large global electronics manufacturer established in Taiwan and with activities in many emerging markets including India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and China.  

Last year the company responded proactively to investor engagement via Climate Action 100+ and committed itself to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

These are just a few of many examples on the role of Danish asset managers in the transition of the real economy towards sustainability. 

Danish asset managers will keep on focusing on sustainability for the years to come.  This is underpinned by our climate target.  

We strive to achieve Paris aligned portfolios and to include more asset classes in our target as soon as reliable emission data becomes available.  

This gives incentives for the industry to advise customers on sustainable investments in a wide range of asset classes. It also promotes Danish investments as a continued key driver of the sustainable transition. 

Thank you! 

Kristine Racina

Senior presserådgiver

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