Planetary Pulse - Wave 2

Investing for a carbon-free world

Tackling climate change is high on everyone’s agenda, with awareness growing that time is running out to protect the planet. This survey reveals answers to investor views on investing to achieve net zero emissions.

19 Oct 2021

20 minutes

By net zero, we mean achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that we put into the atmosphere and the amount removed from the atmosphere, net zero being achieved when the amount added is no more than the amount taken away. This in turn would stabilise global temperatures and address climate change.


Investing for a carbon-free world
E, S or G?

Investing for a carbon-free world

Wind turbines in desert landscape
Tackling climate change is high on everyone’s agenda, with awareness growing that time is running out to protect the planet. As the UN prepares to convene the COP 26 climate conference, where it will urge more governments and businesses to commit to net zero, are investors ready to adapt their portfolios to support the transition to a carbon-free world?

Ninety One commissioned the second edition of the Planetary Pulse survey to find out.

  • Our survey revealed that investors are ready to support the drive to net zero – though they also lack confidence in their knowledge of what net zero means in practice. Even so, the majority are keen for their investments to have a net-zero focus.
  • Investors say they are yet to see much action on climate change. Despite this, over half of those surveyed expect to put a greater proportion of their wealth into investments with a net-zero focus over the next 12 months.
  • Investors have high expectations of asset managers. More than half believe asset managers should use their influence as shareholders to encourage companies to reduce their carbon emissions.
  • As a concept, net zero is new and many investors are still getting their heads around it. After just 10 minutes of discussing the pros and cons of different net-zero investment approaches, the investors we surveyed shifted their preferences from ‘divesting from high-emitters’ towards ‘staying invested and supporting companies to transition to net zero’. After this short period of reflection, the percentage in favour of a ‘staying invested’ approach increased from 52% to 57%.
Download wave 2 research findings (PDF)

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