New Working Group to Accelerate Asset Owners’ Net Zero Work in Asia

3 October 2023
The Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) has announced a new asset owners working group for Asia’s pension and sovereign wealth funds, and insurers to start in January 2024

The new AIGCC Asset Owners’ Working Group will meet the growing interest in net zero alignment from Asian sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurers.

Asset owners across Asia are accelerating their net zero alignment work throughout Asia, recognising that they cannot divest from climate risk.

There are therefore increasingly seeking other ways to reduce their exposure to climate change risks and position capital for opportunities worth trillions of dollars in the Asia’s transition to net zero emissions.

Through the working group asset owners will:

  • learn from experts and best practice from regional and global peers in the many aspects of net zero investing,
  • develop capacity to align investor portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement,
  • build momentum for taking climate action to meet their fiduciary duties.

The working group forum will have an emphasis on peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing between asset owners who are operating in the distinctive Asian markets.

Increasing net zero momentum amongst asset owners in Asia

The launch of the new asset owner working group follows on from a special asset owner roundtable In Tokyo, Japan, today (3 October).

The roundtable was co-hosted by Nippon Life Insurance Company, Nissay Asset Management Corporation and Generation Investment Management.

It was the fourth AIGCC roundtable for asset owners in Asia, who are increasingly committed to a net zero economy.

They are evolving their net zero journey amidst encouraging developments in policy, regulations around disclosure, development of taxonomies, transition finance and market level roadmaps.

The transition in the Asia-Pacific is anticipated to require $71 trillion in investments, to zero out the world’s carbon emissions by 2050. This is far less than the cost of inaction in a region highly exposed to the increasing costs of climate change-related events that are playing out on a weekly basis.

This has led to growing interest by asset owners to drive net zero portfolio implementation.


Rebecca Mikula-Wright, CEO, AIGCC said:

“Mobilising key asset owners to act and lead by example in their respective markets on climate is critical to catalysing the investment value chain. This work continues to be a core focus for AIGCC.

“Asia’s asset owners, in several markets are already demonstrating leading practice on their journey to net zero, and the AIGCC Asset Owners Working Group will enable us to support many more in moving from aspirations and commitments into greater real world action. This work is more urgent than ever to address the present and magnified threat that climate change is presenting to portfolios and livelihoods.

“We have learnt from experience that convening investors via focused working groups, provides a unique acceleration forum to better understand and learn from the challenges and opportunities investors are navigating in transitioning not only their portfolios to net zero, but whole economies – at the speed that is required.”

Sophia Cheng, Chair, AIGCC Board Committee & Chief Investment Officer, Cathay Financial Holdings said:

“This new AIGCC working group will be a critical resource for Asia’s asset owners, to learn from their peers in the region, connect with experts, and share best practice.

“Asia’s transition to net zero will create financial opportunities in clean energy, green industry and nature.

“Capital markets are already adjusting to those opportunities and risks, and this working group will be a chance for all asset owners, no matter how advanced they are on climate, to understand their investments, asset allocations and take action in this critical moment.”

Mark Mills, Partner, Generation Investment Management, and member of the AIGCC Board Committee said:

“There is an urgent need for the global transition to net zero. There are opportunities in Asia to accelerate financing climate solutions which will align investor portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Climate risk is systemic risk. As investors, we should leverage our influence over capital flows and corporates as well as our voice to policymakers to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy.

“All investors have a crucial role to play in building momentum for taking climate action and supporting much needed investments.”

The AIGCC Asset Owners Working Group

AIGCC Is Inviting a group of international and regional asset owners to join an in-person asset owners roundtable on 3 October 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. AIGCC will invite Asian asset owners to the working group that starts next year.

  • Start Date: January 2024
  • Eligibility: Asset Owners headquartered in Asia, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance, endowments and foundations.
  • Objective: To foster diverse and deep discussion, the working group will be open to investors in any stage of their climate journey.
  • Meetings: Quarterly, by video conference with additional in person opportunities.

Inquiry for asset owners Roundtable and working group: