Aviva Investors threatens to divest from companies over climate inaction

The Climate Engagement Escalation Programme will include companies from the oil and gas, metals and mining and utilities sectors

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Aviva Investors has threatened to ditch its bond holdings and stock in 30 of the world’s biggest carbon emitters if they fail to take enough action to tackle climate change.

The global asset management business of Aviva has announced its Climate Engagement Escalation Programme, which will require these companies to deliver net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2050 and establish robust transition roadmaps to demonstrate their commitment to take immediate action on climate change.

The programme, which will include companies from the oil and gas, metals and mining and utilities sectors, will run for between one to three years – depending on individual company circumstances – and incorporate clear escalation measures for non-responsive businesses or those that do not act quickly enough.

Mirza Baig, Global Head of ESG Research and Stewardship at Aviva Investors said: “Aviva Investors’ ESG philosophy promotes the relative merits of engagement over divestment as the more effective mechanism of delivering positive change and outcomes for our clients and society.

“Engagement provides us the opportunity to partner with companies as they navigate the challenges of transition. However, for our engagement approach to have impact, it must be accompanied by a robust escalation process, including the ultimate sanction of divestment.”

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