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What Role Can Private Finance Play In The Race To Net Zero Carbon Emissions?

The role of private finance in the race to net zero carbon emissions will be explored in a high-profile free webinar on United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) Finance Day, Thursday 4 November.

Organised by the Aotearoa New Zealand Investor Coalition for Net Zero and facilitated by the British High Commissioner Laura Clarke, the webinar will include presentations by Bridget Coates Chair of Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, NZ Super Fund CEO Matt Whineray and Investor Group on Climate Change Director Tom Arup.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Investor Coalition for Net Zero encourages asset owners and fund managers to commit to an established, credible, international Net Zero initiative. The coalition is managed by a core group of organisations - Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance, Mindful Money and Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) – with the support of NZ Sustainable Business Council, Sustainable Business Network, Responsible Investment Association of Australasia and Toitū Envirocare.

Toitū Tahua Chair, Bridget Coates will introduce the webinar: “New Zealand is inter-connected with global markets and our largest businesses have known for some time that they need transition plans with science based targets to retain access to global capital. Our investors and fund managers are no exception, with many of the world’s largest asset owners and managers signalling their commitment to net zero.

“This 90-minute webinar will unpack the role of private finance in meeting our collective goals for a zero-carbon economy. New Zealand fund managers have hundreds of billions of dollars invested locally and globally. Redirecting this money from sunset industries and investing in sustainable solutions is an extremely powerful tool in our global efforts to reverse climate change.”

The webinar will feature a panel discussion on the role of fund managers in achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with:

  • Pathfinder Asset Management CEO John Berry on commitments to early action
  • NZ Super Fund CEO Matt Whineray on the imperative for action
  • Westpac NZ and BT Funds analyst Isabelle Huther on commitments by the investment sector

Mindful Money CEO Barry Coates, convenor of the net zero coalition, will present insights from a survey of the largest Aotearoa New Zealand based investors, highlighting findings from the first collaboration by the Aotearoa New Zealand Investor Coalition for Net Zero.

Mr Coates says the New Zealand investment finance industry has an opportunity to catch up with global market trends. “Globally, net zero pledges now total over US$8.5 trillion funds under management for asset owners and US$43 trillion for asset managers. However, the survey reveals there are only five few New Zealand signatories and less than $50 billion of assets under management.

“The New Zealand coalition was established to accelerate climate action by investors. It recognises the need for a New Zealand-based effort to encourage and support asset owners and fund managers in reducing emissions from their portfolios and committing to a net zero target.

“In our shared objective of creating a sustainable financial system in New Zealand, the coalition aims to encourage a critical mass of New Zealand’s asset owners and fund managers to join the global Race to Zero movement, by making credible net zero commitments and taking action to meet them. The baseline survey, to be released at the launch event, reveals that a number of New Zealand fund managers are planning to make this transition.”

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