Bess talked about the Church Commissioners’ proactive stance to address climate change, how it implements net zero strategies to its investment portfolio and its engagement with oil and gas companies to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement.
Bess Joffe, Head of Responsible Investment for the Church Commissioners, commented after the panels:
“Engagement across sectors is vital to our strategy to effect change in the real economy to counter the effects of climate change. It’s vital that we engage with high carbon sectors as well as oil and gas majors which often get the spotlight. We recognise that the future low carbon economy will need sectors like steel, shipping, cement, automotive, so engaging them on the transition is vital.
“The National Investing Bodies of the Church of England, including the Church Commissioners, have taken steps through the creation and adoption of the Transition Pathway Initiative to measure companies’ efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Fundamental to our approach is the necessity for transparency across the board. From 2022 we will start to divest from high carbon sector laggards. Being transparent and having these plans helps companies know exactly what we want and where we stand, signals our intent to the market and assures our stakeholders of our direction of travel.”
Other speakers on the Reuters panel were from Alecta, the Swedish pension plan, and PME, the Dutch pension fund, with moderator Rob Cox, Global Editor for Reuters.
Bess joined leading experts in the climate field, including Hon. James Shaw, the Minister for Climate Change of New Zealand, at the Green Alliance panel.
These panel discussions are part of the Commissioners’ ongoing commitment to lobby on shared goals to help the real world transition to a low carbon economy in line with the Paris Agreement.