(Reuters) – The French insurance company Axa's fund department said on Monday that they would take a tougher line with the oil and gas companies regarding their environmental impact and sell laggards after three years if their plans to reduce emissions were not good enough.
As part of a review of its sector investment policy announced at the COP26 climate negotiations in Scotland, Axa Investment Managers also introduced a set of new exceptions "to mitigate the industry's negative effects on the environment."
Axa and its colleagues have committed to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its portfolios, with major cuts required by 2030 to reach mid-century targets.
A landmark International Energy Agency report this year said that, to keep global climate targets within reach, no more new oil and gas fields should be expanded after this year.
"If we do not see progress and strong commitments from companies, we must be … ready to sell," said Marco Morelli, CEO of Axa IM, in a statement.
"The road to net zero is about transition. We must give companies time to adapt, but we must also adopt an uncompromising approach with companies invested in that are not takes climate change seriously. "
Axa IM said that from the beginning of 2022, it would exclude all companies for which oil sands represent more than 5% of total production, a decrease from a previous threshold of 20%. [1
Axa IM said that they would cooperate with oil and gas companies that are not subject to the tougher exclusions – including large oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and BP – over their climate goals.
It would relinquish them after three years "if sufficient progress has not been made", based on whether companies had set science-based goals in a timely manner in line with a sectoral framework from the non-profit Science Based Targets initiative, you e this year.