South Pole Group & CDP Europe develop the first climate impact rating

South Pole Group and CDP Europe, along with research partners University of Reading (UK) and University of Hamburg (Germany), have partnered together with Climate-KIC, the EU’s main climate innovation initiative, to develop the first climate impact rating for European investment funds.

The three-year innovation project “CLIMPAX” will now be moving to the beta-testing phase which will include extensive consultation with practitioners and civil society on key aspects of the rating. The project comes at a time when more and more investors – private and institutional – are concerned about the climate impact of their investments and the risk that climate change poses to their savings.

Marianne Ullrich, sustainability expert at Deka Investment and Dr. Thomas Deser, Senior Portfolio Manager, Union Investment state: “As large asset managers we have been considering risks and opportunities from climate change within our investment decisions for quite some time. We therefore support the idea of the CLIMPAX project and its goal to develop a comprehensive climate rating for all mutual funds in Europe. We particularly support the intention to incorporate strategic and qualitative data points that go beyond mere carbon footprinting, in order to incentivise both investors and investee companies to contribute their best to the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

CLIMPAX is unique as it ultimately targets retail investors by bringing an understanding of the climate impact of individual investment choices to the wider public. It follows an innovative and holistic approach by making a qualitative and quantitative climate assessment of each fund holding and by evaluating the asset managers’ commitment to act on climate change.

Susan Dreyer, Director DACH region at CDP says: “The world is made of humans, of all of us. If we don’t change the way we live, the way we spend our money, the way we invest our money, climate change will threaten our very existence. Having worked with the support of over 800 large institutional investors for many years now, CDP Europe is very proud to be partnering with leading practicioners and academic partners in the field to provide the missing substantial link between individual investment choices and the global problem of climate change, in a comprehensive, forward-looking, fair and easy-to-understand manner.”

Maximilian Horster, Partner, Financial Industry at South Pole Group continues: “Transparency is the only way to enable action and CLIMPAX will for the first time make the climate impact of a fund transparent. This is important as it will be able to answer the rapidly growing need to support the climate conscious decision-making in the global finance sector. We look forward to further developing this project together with CDP, a renowned expert in the field of climate change reporting.”

The CLIMPAX announcement comes at a time when the COP21 climate conference in Paris further highlights the role of financial markets in tackling climate change. Most financial products still lack transparency when it comes to their climate impact. This is particularly true for funds, which are widely used by retail investors for private savings and retirement.

CLIMPAX will provide a transformational level of transparency to thousands of investment funds across the EU. “Climpax will demonstrate what climate impact our savings can unfold, for the good and for the bad. I’m so convinced that this kind of transparency gives each of us a powerful tool to give money a direction towards climate protection,” underlines Dr. Malte Schneider, Director Climate-KIC Germany.

CLIMPAX is being beta-tested throughout 2016. This includes stakeholder consultations with investors and NGOs. The launch of the rating is planned for early 2017. CDP and South Pole Group invite organisations interested in the project progress and/or to join the beta testing to contact:

  • Nico Fettes, CDP, nico.fettes@cdp.net, +49 (0) 30 311 777 175
  • Viola Lutz, South Pole Group, v.lutz@thesouthpolegroup.com, +41 (0) 43 501 35 50
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