BNP Paribas Urges Investors to Guide Lawmakers on Climate Policy

BNP Paribas SA is pushing global investors to collaborate and guide lawmakers to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet their Paris Agreement obligations.

Investors aren’t following-up on statements sent to Group of Seven and G-20 countries that advocate for stronger climate policies, including a price on carbon and an end to fossil-fuel subsidies, Jane Ambachtsheer, the global head of sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management said in an interview. Instead, they should be engaging with lawmakers to help identify policies that support business and communities to speed up a transition, she said.

“It’s increasingly well understood if we don’t implement the Paris Agreement, don’t tackle the biodiversity challenge and crisis, significant portions of GDP are at risk,” Ambachtsheer said. “We need a plan. We need to accelerate that plan.”

Global investors have been successful through collaborations like Climate Action 100+ in pressuring the world’s biggest companies from BHP Group and BP Plc to Unilever Plc. to begin decarbonizing their operations. At the national level, however, some countries like Australia still haven’t adopted net-zero emissions targets, in support of politically sensitive fossil-fuel industries like coal and gas.

Ambachtsheer suggested the Principles of Responsible Investment, a United Nations-backed organization representing $103 trillion in assets under management, is the best forum for collaboration. The body in March detailed the expected policy responses from climate laggards within the next five years, including a price on carbon and associated trade tariffs.

“It’s not enough to just be aware of what might happen, how might that unfold and how can we be best positioned,” Ambachtsheer said. “Investors have not been coordinated in supporting policy makers with those difficult decisions and accelerating the change. If we’re going to achieve net zero by 2050, we have to work harder on that.”

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