One of the leading insurance companies in the world, Aviva, has announced plans to significantly increase investments in low-carbon assets and reduce exposure to sectors that face risk of regulatory action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Aviva Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson recently stated that the company will invest around $780 million every year in renewable energy and energy efficiency assets over the next 5 years. Aviva currently manages assets of a whopping $390 billion and is Britain’s second-largest insurer by market value.
The company will take into account the risk posed by possible regulatory intervention to act on greenhouse gas emissions and reduce exposure to fossil fuel companies.
Aviva joins several other global companies, and insurance companies, that have announced similar plans to reduce exposure to the fossil fuel industries around the world. Germany’s Allianz Group has increased its annual renewable energy investment budget to around $385 million, while AXA has announced plans to sell $500 million in coal assets and increase cumulative investment in clean energy assets to $3.3 billion by 2020. Earlier this year, Guardian Media Group also announced its plans to divest almost $880 million of fossil fuel-linked financial assets, while many other groups, institutions, and funds have announced similar measures.
Syracuse University announced that it will divest $1.18 billion worth of investments in fossil fuels-linked assets. Before that, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund divested all of its fossil fuel assets, worth about $860 million. And recently, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund — Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global — announced that it had sold off stake in 53 coal companies from around the world, including the world’s largest coal mining company, Coal India Limited.
Such investments have come with just months to go for the potentially landmark climate change summit in Paris. It is widely expected that a Paris climate change agreement to open doors for a global carbon market that would significantly impact valuations of fossil fuel-linked assets.
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