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Investors: build a carbon-efficient portfolio

The Paris Agreement, adopted at COP21, aims to limit global environmental harm through multi-party collaboration. To achieve the environmental goals set out by the Paris Agreement, institutional investors need to embark on a long-term investment journey, which requires investment in low-carbon and energy-efficient solutions and aligning the financial sector with carbon reduction objectives.

Investors build a carbon-efficient portfolio

The carbon reduction movement has mainly been notable in international policy and the corporate sector, with little movement in the financial sector. Although it is expected that the financial sector will follow the rest of the market, substantial participation by institutional investors in the decarbonisation of the economy is required to achieve global environmental goals. 

The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) was created in 2017 by the Financial Stability Board as a response to a lack of transparency from institutions regarding environmental-risk-related assets. The TCFD’s framework of recommendations focuses on improving and increasing the reporting of environmental-related financial information and stresses the importance of environmental-related financial disclosure. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), created by prominent investors in 2002 as a global environmental impact disclosure system, is now the largest TCFD-aligned environmental database in the world.

Whilst transparency on environmental-related financial information and risks is key for sound financial governance, it is not a sufficient market response to the challenges of financial environmental reform. Scaled investment is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement targets and broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

Start making a positive impact: calculate your carbon footprint today

Transformative actions and initiatives by the financial sector are called for to step up sustainable carbon-efficient investment beyond clean energy into projects such as reforestation and responsible land use. 

Climate Action 100+ is an investor-led initiative (with 700 investors on board in 2022 managing trillions of Euros in investments) established in 2017 following the adoption of the Paris Agreement. The initiative was launched to ensure that the most significant corporate carbon emitters take action on environmental issues. 

The goal of these initiatives is that transparency and scrutiny of environmental-related financial information and risks will drive investors to steer clear of carbon-intensive assets and move towards low-carbon opportunities.

While some investors are hesitant to enter the low-carbon market, citing the need for a clear and stable policy framework as a market entry barrier, most realise the critical role institutional investors play and could play in shaping and developing carbon markets into a fundamental environmental-action driver. 

The impact that institutional investors can effect on compliance carbon markets and voluntary carbon markets (VCM) is supported by the pure volume of capital under management by such investors. 

Read more: The interconnected world of carbon: exploring key carbon market concepts

build a carbon-efficient portfolio

How can investors benefit the carbon market: 

  • By trading in carbon allowances, investors can increase the market liquidity of carbon markets. Many investors believe that green bonds are the most promising liquid financial instrument to house low-carbon investments, thus posing an opportunity to be scaled.
  • By investing in high-quality carbon-reduction and removal projects that generate carbon credits on VCMs, investors encourage and advance decarbonisation efforts and help expand the supply of such projects.
  • Investors exercise a significant amount of influence over their portfolio companies and can steer such companies towards low-carbon solutions. In addition, institutional investors have the resources to guide portfolio companies in reaching net-zero targets. This can entail that companies either compensate for their carbon emissions by acquiring carbon credits or that they reduce their emissions by implementing carbon-avoidance or carbon-removal programmes. 

Read more: Investing for the good: How socially responsible investing is driving economic sustainability

How can the carbon market benefit investors: 

  • Investing in carbon-reduction and removal projects fulfils not only Environmental, Social, and Government (ESG) objectives but also investor mandates. 
  • Investors can hedge against possible transition environmental risks affecting their other asset classes by including carbon allowances in their portfolios. Investors can further guard against possible transition risks by focusing on assets with environmentally resilient business models, decreasing exposure in transition-exposed sectors and carbon-intensive companies, and increasing exposure in low-carbon or carbon-efficient sectors. Research shows that as little as approximately 1% of carbon-allowance allocation in a portfolio can be adequate to offset potential losses due to environmental risks.
  • As the demand for high-quality carbon credits is increasing, carbon prices could also potentially rise with the enactment of environmental regulations by governments. The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM), sponsored by the Institute of International Finance, estimates that the demand for carbon credits could grow 15x or more by 2030 and up to 100x by 2050. Therefore, carbon products are becoming an increasingly attractive investment. 

Investors committed to measuring, disclosing, and, most importantly, reducing their carbon portfolio could therefore mitigate their risk exposure whilst securing sustainable returns for their stakeholders. 

Explore the benefits of green investing

Investors who move to decarbonise their portfolios thus set a clear pathway to net-zero carbon emissions in line with the aim of the Paris Agreement, and they convey a prime message that carbon efficiency is now paramount.

In striving towards green finance, institutional investors should accordingly consider how they will incorporate carbon-efficient products and carbon markets into their portfolios and the benefits of such inclusion. Moreover, whether their targets are aligned with the inherent purpose of carbon markets: to reduce emissions.

Investing in nature, investing with DGB Group

In the realm of carbon markets, DGB Group stands at the forefront, dedicated to making this intricate landscape accessible to all. We are committed to impactful nature-based projects where we harness the power of nature to address not only carbon emissions but also social and environmental challenges. As stewards of large-scale, high-quality projects accredited by leading verification standards, we go beyond the conventional, focusing on nature conservation and fostering biodiversity.

It's not merely about carbon footprints and green portfolios; it's about embracing nature as a solution. Dive into our projects, explore the tangible impact of carbon project investing—a vital tool to restore nature—and learn about the benefits of green investing.

Want to learn more about investing in DGB’s 8% ROI green bonds or purchasing verified carbon credits to diversify your portfolio?

Contact our investment team and set up a free call

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