New partnership calls on government to commit for a greener financial system ahead of COP26.
Aviva today announces a new climate-focused partnership with one of the world’s leading conservation charities, WWF, which will focus on shifting the financial sector to Net Zero. WWF and Aviva are jointly calling on the UK government to mandate UK regulated financial institutions to develop credible transition plans that align with Net Zero and the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Without this shift the UK will not be able to meet its Net Zero target or global climate commitments to the Paris Agreement.
In a new joint policy paper published today, titled ‘Transition Plans for a Net Zero Future’ Aviva and WWF set out five recommendations for how the UK government can demonstrate further leadership on green finance and harness the power of the finance sector to drive the transition to Net Zero.
- The UK government should mandate UK regulated financial institutions to develop credible transition plans that align with Net Zero and the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement from 2023.
- As an interim measure, ahead of COP26 the Treasury should recommend that regulators require regulated UK financial institutions to start producing Net Zero 1.5°C aligned transition plans by the end of 2022.
- The UK government should bring together regulators, industry and civil society to develop guidance on the most appropriate metrics, methodologies and specifications for transition plans.
- The UK government should create a clear policy framework to drive Net Zero across the real economy, signalling the steps and timescales by which they will be met.
- In parallel, the UK should use its role in the G7, G20 and other multilateral platforms to encourage other major economies to mandate transition plans globally.
The new collaboration will see Aviva become WWF’s lead partner on pensions and insurance, building on Aviva’s announcement earlier this year to target Net Zero carbon by 2040, the first major insurer worldwide to do so. Aviva’s climate plan informs every aspect of its operations and investment decisions and is part of its strategy to be the UK’s leading insurer, contributing to a sustainable economic recovery.
Last month, WWF and Greenpeace UK revealed that UK banks and asset managers were responsible for financing 805 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019 – 1.8 times the UK’s annual net emissions that year. The research points towards finance as one of the UK’s biggest contributors to climate change and supports calls for regulation to be introduced across the sector to bring it into line with Paris Agreement targets.
Amanda Blanc, Aviva Group Chief Executive Officer said:
“We’re living in the midst of a climate emergency and, as the UK.’s leading insurer, we’ve got a big responsibility to do something about it. Our new partnership with WWF will help us tackle the causes of climate change and help our customers and communities cope better with the consequences. We will campaign with WWF to ensure the financial sector gets its act together and makes a more significant contribution to a sustainable planet. WWF has a huge amount of expertise and influence in this area, and I’m excited about what we’ll be able to achieve together to help lead the financial services industry to contribute more to a low-carbon future.”
Tanya Steele, WWF-UK Chief Executive, said:
As we look to build a greener, stable planet with a sustainable economy, the finance sector can be a force for positive change.
“We know that the finance sector has a staggering climate footprint, and that simply has to change if we are to stand a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement targets of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. But as we look to build a greener, stable planet with a sustainable economy, the sector can also be a force for positive change.
Aviva is already a climate-leader in the industry and demonstrates the enormous potential for our pensions and insurance in helping to tackle the environmental crisis. Together, we hope to inspire other financial institutions along this journey and to jointly call for ambitious government reform of the sector in the run-up to COP26."
Aviva’s partnership with WWF spans Aviva’s core markets. Over the next three years Aviva will be working with WWF to help communities in the UK and Canada build healthier and more resilient ecosystems that help reduce the risk of climate-related natural disasters such as flooding. For example in Canada, Aviva will support WWF-Canada’s Nature and Climate Grant Program, which helps communities restore degraded lands and shorelines in order to improve habitats and capture carbon through nature based solutions. Aviva will also be engaging millions of consumers to increase awareness about the power of their choices, for example how they invest their pensions, which can contribute to a more sustainable future.
Aviva: Heleana Greeves
+44 (0)7392 138 791
WWF: Bethany Hutchings / Lucy Kay
+44 (0)1483 412500
Notes to editors:
- We are one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India, China and Singapore.
- We help our 18.7 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
- We have been taking care of people for more than 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2022, we paid £23.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition and action at www.aviva.com/sustainability
- While we are working towards our sustainability ambitions, we acknowledge that we have relationships with businesses and existing assets that may be associated with significant emissions. More information can be found at www.aviva.com/sustainability/climate/
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