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Mizuho fund manager joins $9tn club for net-zero carbon investing

Thirty global asset companies pledge to make portfolios CO2-neutral by 2050

People ride bikes in Beijing on a clear day: major asset management companies from around the world are joining the fight to curb carbon emissions.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A group of 30 asset managers including a Mizuho Financial Group subsidiary will commit to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across their combined $9 trillion portfolio by 2050.

The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative launched Friday includes France's Axa Investment Managers and Fidelity International of the U.K. Signatories will urge portfolio companies to reduce carbon emissions through dialogue and their shareholder votes. The group also will seek cooperation from pension funds and other investors, as well as financial authorities, stock exchanges and credit rating agencies.

"To address climate change, it's essential to both make pledges toward a set goal and promote joint global action by investors and investees toward achieving those goals," said Akira Sugano, president and CEO of Asset Management One. The Mizuho Financial unit is the only signatory from Japan.

To start, signatories will set interim reduction targets for 2030 and decide on the proportion of assets to be managed in line with achieving net zero emissions.

They will update those targets at least every five years. Climate-related disclosures will be made annually as well.

The financial industry's fight against climate change so far has been spearheaded largely by pension funds, insurers and asset owners. The Net Zero initiative will bring asset managers to the mix as well.

The news comes ahead of Saturday's five-year anniversary for the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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