UN’s $85bn pension fund sets out new, steeper, targets

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) has set new climate targets to reduce its investment-induced greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2025.

“The UNJSPF is now planning to be more ambitious than the current net-zero targets. The UNJSPF believes that it should serve as an inspiration for the industry,” Pedro Guazo, representative of the Secretary-General for the investment of UNJSPF assets said.

With this decision the Fund pledges to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas footprint of its equities and corporate bonds’ portfolios by 29 per cent in 2021 (the higher end of the recommended sub-portfolio target by the Alliance by 2025) compared to the 2019 level. By 2025, the Fund targets a 40 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction from 2019. Those targets will be achieved through divestment and engagement in companies of the UNJSPF portfolio. Short-term portfolio-level reductions will be achieved predominantly through divesting.

The Office of Investment Management (OIM) of the UNJSPF is a member of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance formed in 2019 and is responsible for the investment of over $85bn of assets.

“We will be engaging companies with climate-related objectives prioritising the largest polluters of OIM’s portfolio. We want to ensure companies’ strategies, activities and actions are aligned with the goal set in the Paris Agreement,” stated Toru Shindo, OIM’s CIO. The OIM will also take steps to identify and increase exposure to transitioning companies and green investments, he added.

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