Race to the finish at COP26

12 November, 2021

Minerva is launching a stakeholder survey for our clients and the wider investment community about their individual climate stewardship preferences. The survey is supported by Minerva’s latest Briefing – Climate Stewardship – which looks at the implications of Paris-aligned sustainable stewardship and the voting choices that investors currently face. Your feedback will help us to ensure that our research and voting guidelines meet client and market needs as we work towards a Net Zero 2030. We look forward to hearing from you.

As COP26 comes to a close, Minerva reports from Glasgow on the biggest takeaway for asset owners and asset managers. Today marks the last official day of COP26 negotiations, but of course, there is still much work to be done. With discussions likely to go late into the night, one question is looming over all stakeholders – has COP26 been successful?

The words from Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, at the informal stocktaking meeting held this afternoon were clear: “This is not about politics, this is personal… We must keep 1.5 degrees alive.” Indeed, ‘keeping 1.5 alive’ has been the central phrase of this years COP, and greening our financial systems has been placed at the heart of achieving this goal.

On Thursday at the mandated UN High-level Event for Global Climate Action – “Racing to a Better World” – the High-Level Climate Champions, Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping, reported on the progress made by non-state actors engaged under the Paris Agreement as a part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action. The Marrakech Partnership supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement by enabling collaboration between governments and cities, regions, businesses and investors to act on climate change.

The event marked the launch of a new five-year plan aiming to deepen engagement with stakeholders like businesses and investors. It emphasises high standards of transparency and accountability for non-Party stakeholder commitments. This includes the establishment of a process to deal with public enquiries on any member of the Race to Zero campaign.

As a member and founder of the Net Zero Financial Services Provider Alliance that is part of the Race to Zero campaign, Minerva supports the strengthening of the Race to Zero campaign. Accountability and transparency are at the heart of the ESG and climate stewardship services that we provide.

Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Champion for COP26 said:

“The momentum among non-state actors is only set to grow. That is clearly welcome given the mountain left to climb. The science is clear. We’re not transitioning nearly fast enough. Turning today’s momentum into implementation is now absolutely the order of the day.”

COP26 has demonstrated the willingness of investors and financial institutions alike to take action on climate change. As the Race to Zero campaign continues beyond COP26, Minerva will continue to push for greening the finance sector and facilitating further net zero commitments by stakeholders in the finance sector.

The final outcomes of COP26 will undoubtedly meet support and criticism when they are published later today, pending the success of final negotiation rounds. Regardless, the COP meeting in Glasgow has been a major win for the engagement of the finance sector in the international conversation on combatting climate change.

Last Updated: 12 November 2021