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Investing in the leaders of the climate transition

Investing in the leaders of the climate transition

Need to know

  • Investing in the climate transition requires stepping beyond carbon-footprint analyses and gaining a clear sight of companies’ decarbonisation trajectories.
  • Transitioning companies in hard-to-abate sectors are required for future economic growth but urgently need to decarbonise.
  • Valuable net-zero opportunities exist among high-emitting companies that are on viable decarbonisation pathways.


Transitioning companies present opportunities

Investors need to be enabled to recognise which companies are best positioned for the regulatory, technological and market changes ahead, to effectively capture investment opportunities and reduce risks. Transitioning companies in hard-to-abate sectors represent emerging opportunities.

The Climate Transition strategy focuses on three sets of opportunities when selecting companies using thematic, activity-driven filtering with a high purity threshold. Among these are transitioning companies in hard-to-abate sectors - such as steel, cement, transport, chemicals, power generation, and real estate - that are required for future economic growth but urgently need to decarbonise.

The strategy differentiates itself by investing in carbon-intensive companies that have understood the need to transition and the market advantages in doing so, and where their progress, as monitored by our implied temperature rise (ITR) metrics, is aligned with a Paris trajectory. Over the past year, our active stewardship across the market has targeted many such candidates. With climate-related solutions moving higher up regulatory and investment agendas, taking responsibility for corporate decarbonisation goals is key, both to mitigate reputational, financial and transition risks and to identify investment opportunities. With our own active stewardship, the strategy captures such emerging opportunities and supports their development.


Transition opportunities

‘Ice cubes’ are companies that exist in high-carbon industries but that are fast decarbonising and aligning with the Paris agreement. We define these transition opportunities as ice cubes because their progress on reducing emissions is helping to cool the economy.


Fig 1: Ice cubes, burning logs, low-and-lower carbon, and low-carbon laggards

Temperature alignment.svg

Source: LOIM. For illustrative purposes only


Burning logs, by contrast, are high-emitting companies that are not currently on a credible path to decarbonisation, meaning that they are potentially contributing significantly to global warming. We do not exclude companies classified as burning logs, and instead assess whether their activities and services are supporting other companies and segment in their decarbonisation efforts. Our analysis may also determine companies that appear to fit this classification are actually performing better than the metrics imply.

Our methodology also recognises low-and-lower carbon companies, which are generally in industries that are already low-emitting and are reducing emissions further, as well as low carbon laggards, which are generally in low-emitting industries but face increasing emissions.

Companies that have established themselves ‘transition leaders’ comprise around 35% of the Climate Transition Strategy. Notable examples of ‘ice cubes’ in the portfolio include:



Stepping beyond carbon footprints

Investing in the climate transition requires stepping beyond carbon-footprint analyses and gaining a clear sight of companies’ decarbonisation trajectories. By doing so, investors can judge whether businesses are transition opportunities to be captured or risks to be avoided.

With this forward-looking view, we believe that some of the best net-zero opportunities exist among companies whose current emissions would exclude them from low-carbon strategies but, due to their action on achieving carbon-reduction targets, indicate that they are on viable decarbonisation pathways. Their potential to thrive in a world aligning to – and achieving – net zero could be underpriced by the market.



[1] Any reference to a specific company or security does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or directly invest in the company or securities. It should not be assumed that the recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of the securities discussed in this document

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